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Roundtable: Where do things stand on the hoops recruiting trail?

The CRFF staff discusses Mike Boynton’s efforts on the recruiting trail, as well as which players each staff member would like to see in Stillwater.

NCAA Basketball: Big 12 Conference Tournament-Oklahoma vs Oklahoma State Amy Kontras-USA TODAY Sports

Mike Boynton has hit the recruiting trail hard since being eliminated from the NIT in March. With the Cowboys three best players leaving town this weekend, let’s take a look at who could fill their shoes in the coming years.

Who is more important to OSU’s recruiting class, Maurice Calloo or Issac Likekele?

Micah Allen

“They both have their reason to be important. There’s a need at both of their positions at the moment, but I feel like point guard is the more pressing need at the moment.“

Louis Pineda:

“Calloo is more important simply because there is such a shortage of bodies in the frontcourt. They’ll be struggling for depth everywhere, but the thought of N’Guessan being the most experienced post player gives me the chills.”

Cade Webb:

”I think it’s Maurice Calloo. I wrote about this a few weeks ago during the Courtney Ramey saga: OSU’s weakness in 2018 will be in the frontcourt regardless of who they bring in at the guard spot. They need depth and talent in the paint, and Calloo has the look of a budding elite offensive player. He can dribble extremely well for a player of his size, and can really pour it in. He answers a need for Oklahoma State, while Likekele would just be the cherry on top of an already-talented and fairly deep backcourt.”

Ryan Harris:

“Both are very important for this recruiting class, but I would prioritize Likekele over Calloo. The Cowboys have already signed one power forward, yet neither position is very deep. I’m taking Likekele simply because I still have nightmares from watching Lindy Waters bring the ball up the court against Arkansas. Either way, OSU needs both of these guys to come play in Stillwater.”

Zach McCoy:

“Isaac Likekele for a few reasons:

I think a lot of OSU fans have PTSD (Post Travis Stress Disorder) about not having enough quality bigs. Whether or not you think they can play at this level, there’s currently 6 out of 10 scholarship players assigned to the 4 and 5 position. That’s 60% of the current roster! Some of those guys can stretch to play the 3 (and will have to because according to verbalcommits.com OSU doesn’t have one!), but the point remains.

Maurice Calloo is really another stretch 4 in the Crime Dog mold which is great, but doesn’t solve the real problem of not having Big 12-level 5’s.

Mike Boynton has specifically stated he wants to take another PG because he wants one he can develop to build his team around in his vision. I’m a huge believer in Michael Weathers (like Big 12 First Team-level belief) but the coaching staff seems convinced he’s better suited off the ball.

This plays into the next question but you need to start getting these borderline 4-star guys and better to start changing the perception of OSU under Mike Boynton because recruits pay attention to where the talent goes.”

Mike Boynton proved himself as a capable Head Coach this season. What needs to happen for OSU fans to be convinced he can recruit the talent necessary for OSU to compete for national championships again?

Louis:

“It has been a breath of fresh air to even be in consideration for some of these elite players, but he is going to have to land one soon to convince me that we are on the right path. Ford brought in some studs early, he just couldn’t build a complete team. We know that Boynton can coach, so if he can land at least one big time recruit in the next two years, we are on the way.”

Micah:

“He needs to land both Likekele and Calloo. I think he’s done a heck of a job already getting guys like that interested and visiting campus. “

Ryan:

“Boynton has done a great job getting top guys interested in OSU. I need to see him haul in some of the better 4-star guys, though. If OSU could get one or two of those guys every year, Boynton is a good enough coach to get these guys he’s bringing in to compete with the blue bloods. Hell, he did it last year against Kansas... twice! I’d like to see him recruit DFW hard. He’s done a good job of that so far. For OSU, it’s about finding that sweet spot of bringing in highly skilled and talented recruits, but not guys who will be one-and-done either.“

Cade:

“I fall in the vein of thought that he’s probably a great recruiter already. Looking at how he was able to secure the Boone twins ahead of schedule, and the way he’s filled needs with this roster, it’s clear he knows what he’s doing. Sure, you’ve got to land elite talent to be considered an elite recruiter, and I don’t think he’s that - but I do think he’s done about as well as you could hope. Landing one or both players in Calloo and Likekele would make this offseason a roaring success.”

Zach:

“Some fans are already pretty convinced that he’s an awesome recruiter. I’m not there yet. I think seeing a 5-star and/or a couple 4-stars being built into a complete roster will leave behind all doubt.”

Which recruit would you most like to see Mike Boynton land to pair next to the Boone twins in the class of 2019?

Zach:

“There are so many unknowns this season so it’s hard to know what will be the biggest need will be, but I’m gonna go with Armando Bacot. Elite centers are amazing to watch and super rare.”

Cade:

“I agree with Zach on this one. Armando Bacot would be the most elite prospect to step foot in GIA since LeBryan Nash. While I think there’s a mutual interest, I just don’t see him leaving the east coast. He’s in the heart of the ACC, and programs like Duke and North Carolina are recruiting him hard. It would be a legendary recruiting victory if they’re able to secure him. If you want to look at a guy I think they have a great chance at, look no further than Jalen Wilson. A 2019 4-star small forward, Wilson has OSU in his top 6. I think they’re in a great situation with him.“

Ryan:

“I have to go with Denton Guyer prospect Jalen Wilson. He’s an athletic wing prospect who would have the opportunity to show out against his high school backcourt counterpart DeVion Harmon in Bedlam. Harmon committed to OU over OSU and others a while back. Wilson doesn’t have OU in his top 6. I think the Pokes have a great chance to sign him, and I think he’d be a great fit to stretch the floor with Boone twins. If the Cowboys aren’t able to land Wilson, I’d like to see Boynton snag an athletic point guard who runs the pick and roll well. Someone similar to Jawun Evans.”

Micah:

“I’m honestly not really sure yet. I like a lot of the guys that are on Boynton’s radar, but I haven’t been able to watch a lot of film on them. Ask me this question in a few months.”

Who will bring the next 5-star recruit to Stillwater, Mike Gundy or Mike Boynton?

Ryan:

“This has been a popular question since Brad Underwood was at OSU. Now that Boynton has experienced some success at OSU, this question is relevant again. For now, I’ll go with Gundy, only because I think the Pokes will land 5-star safety Dax Hill. If Hill decides to play his college ball elsewhere, however, I would put my money on Boynton. So far, coach Mike has proven he isn’t afraid to go after big time 5-star recruits. On the other hand, Mike Gundy’s bread and butter are 3 and 4-star recruits that exceed expectations.“

Louis:

“Easy...Mike Boynton. The Arkansas Waterfall shuts off at the mere sight of a 5 star recruit, and the argument can be made that Boynton NEEDS a 5 star more than Gundy. Gundy is perfectly content with his recruiting strategy because it has worked, so until that changes I don’t see him actively pursuing big name recruits.”

Micah:

“I think it’ll be Boynton. I think his age gives him an advantage over Gundy. He knows what to say and how to be appealing to a younger crowd. I mean have you seen his kicks?!? I think he’s just a bit less shy than Gundy is in the sense that he’s not afraid to go after the out-of-the-box guys that could be out of reach. He’s not afraid to go after the guys he wants, and you have to respect that.”

Zach:

“Boynton; it’s a simple numbers game. Dax Hill has a chance to make me eat crow, and I hope he does. He is Gundy’s best chance to get that train rolling.”

Cade:

“This feels like a no-doubter for me ... I’m taking Boynton. There’s a clear differentiation in recruiting philosophies with Gundy and Boynton. Gundy is comfortable taking players with tons of potential and building them up. Boynton, on the other hand, looks like he’s cool with swinging for the fences and trying to pull some big fish. Because of that, and the thought that OSU will be fending off blue-bloods for Dax Hill makes Boynton the obvious pick here.”