Nike’s EYBL circuit wrapped up this weekend with the N’Faly Dante-led Mokan Elite squad from Kansas claiming the Peach Jam title. Several potential future Pokes impressed this summer and we’ll take a look at five guys who could seriously consider playing their college ball in Stillwater who stood out at EYBL this summer.
Note: Bryce Thompson plays for Run PWP on Under Armour’s AAU circuit and is not eligible for this recap. Mike Boynton made trips back-and-forth between Atlanta and North Augusta, South Carolina, to see Thompson at the Under Armour Association Finals and several recruits playing at Peach Jam.
Cade Cunningham, Forward, Texas Titans
Fresh off playing with Isaac Likekele and Team USA at the U19 World Championships, Cunningham made the trip to North Augusta to compete in Peach Jam after being named EYBL regular season MVP. The No. 2 ranked prospect in his class, Cunningham did a little bit of everything, averaging 25.1 points, 6.6 rebounds and 5.2 assists per game. He shot the ball at a .557/.371/.733 clip.
Cunningham is the bell cow of the class. A program altering talent who projects to be a top pick in the 2021 NBA draft, he would be the second-highest recruit to commit to Oklahoma State since 247sports started recruiting rankings in 2002. Considering that top recruit Gerald Green bypassed Stillwater for the NBA draft straight out of high school in 2005, Cunningham has a chance to be the most highly touted prospect to land in Stillwater this century.
Cunningham was arguably the most dominant player in the league, which features nearly all of the top talent. A select few like Bryce Thompson elect to play in the Under Armour Association league or the Adidas Gauntlet, but Nike’s EYBL grabs nearly all the top players. His performance at EYBL is likely part of why he was moved up to No. 2 in the nation for his class in the most recent version of 247sports’ recruiting rankings. OSU made the top 10 list for the 6-foot-7 forward and are considered one of the favorites, especially after Boynton hired Cade’s brother, Cannen, to be an assistant.
Isaiah Todd, Forward, Nightrydas Elite
The buzz around Isaiah Todd and OSU has died down a little since last winter, but don’t count the Pokes out of the running yet. 247sports has him favoring Kentucky with NC State, Kansas and North Carolina in the mix. Maryland, Central Florida and Oklahoma State are considered to be “warm” interests to Todd. Here is his official top 10.
In 18 games including five at Peach Jam, Todd averaged 17.7 points while shooting over 50 percent from the field, but below 30 percent from three. He also averaged 8.3 rebounds and 1.6 blocks per game.
Todd was a force down low throughout EYBL, but his outside shooting needs some work. He’ll be a steal for whatever school gets his services, but he will need to work on the shooting aspect of his game to become a better fit for the modern NBA. His Nightrydas Elite went 2-3 at Peach Jam, beating a solid Team WhyNot squad before losing three straight to end their season.
Rondel Walker, Guard, Texas Titans
One of the only Oklahoma natives on the U19 circuit, Walker hails from Putnam City West and ran with the Texas Titans at EYBL, choosing not to follow in fellow Oklahoma native Trae Young’s footsteps with playing fro Mokan Elite.
The 6-foot-2 guard is currently considered an Oklahoma State lean by 247sports and could be part of the most anticipated recruiting class in Oklahoma State history. Commitments from Walker and Texas Titans teammate Cunningham, also an OSU lean, would give the Pokes three top-100 players from the class of 2020 alone. For perspective, Marcus Watson was the only top-100 recruit in the highly touted class of 2019, ranked No. 85 nationally.
Playing for arguably the best team on the circuit, Walker averaged 29.2 minutes per game across 18 games, but was not expected to shoulder much of the scoring load. With Cunningham and Greg Brown III on the wings and talented guard Mike Miles (whom Boynton has also been actively recruiting according to 247’s Corey Evans) running point, the Titans were stacked on offense. Cunningham averaged nearly 24 points per game and Brown at 18.7, Walker and Miles scored about 12 each — Walker being at 12.4 per night.
The 6-2 shooting guard shot 46.8 percent from the field and an impressive 42.6 percent from three. He’s a good rebounding guard as well, hauling in 4.3 per contest as well as 3.0 assists. The assist numbers are strong for someone who wasn’t the team’s primary ball handler.
Davonte Davis, Guard, Woodz Elite
Davis has been committed to Oklahoma State since December and is currently the lone member of the Oklahoma State class of 2020. Coach Boynton is targeting a couple of Davis’ Woodz Elite teammates and hopefully he was able to do a little recruiting across the four regular season sessions and Peach Jam.
Davis struggled throughout EYBL, averaging 9.1 points on 36.5 percent shooting in 11 games during the EYBL regular season. He took those numbers up to 18.4 points on 39.5 percent from the field during Peach Jam.
I didn’t get a chance to watch Woodz Elite during the Dallas session and haven’t seen Davis play. Those numbers don’t paint a great picture but Davis was competing against nearly all the best players from his class and even some of the top ones from the class below him (such as 2021 No.1 Jonathan Kuminga). He also ran with a squad that was short on blue chip talent when teams like the Texas Titans were loaded to the gills with top-20 guys.
Davis shot a combined 18.6 percent from outside during the regular season and Peach Jam and 62.1 percent from the line. He isn’t necessarily a Phil Forte all-star with those numbers, but there is plenty of room for improvement and plenty of time to improve. Davis bills as top-100 prospect for a reason and him committing early on is great news for the Pokes.
In Tuesday morning’s recruiting mailbag, 247sports’ Corey Evans stated Oklahoma State is after Woodz Elite forward Chris Moore and center Jaylin Williams, who we’ll get to next.
Jaylin Williams, Center, Woodz Elite
Another top-100 prospect, Williams also holds offers from Arkansas, Auburn and Texas A&M. The 247sports crystal ball currently shows no projections for Williams, and landing the big man would be a big get for a team deep on guards and wings, but a little thin on big men, especially with the departure of Cam McGriff at the end of the season.
Williams was impressive throughout EYBL, averaging 10.4 points and 9.6 rebounds. The big man shot 10-for-17 from three during 13 regular season games, but 1-for-14 during five games at Peach Jam. That’s wildly inconsistent, but does show that he possesses the ability and willingness to shoot it from out there, which could be useful in pick-and-pop situations.
Ranked No. 70 in the nation and the 12th-best center available in the class, Williams recruitment will inevitably pick up as we get closer to the first signing period. He’s been quiet on favorites this far, but the possibility of teaming up with Davis again in Stillwater could be favorable for the big man. His recruitment is mostly speculation at this point, but he would no doubt be a big pickup for Boynton. Some of these prospects could also be influenced by a decision from Cunningham. Getting to play with a player of his caliber could be important to some of these guys who may not have blue blood offers.
With McGriff, Lindy Waters, Thomas Dziagwa and transfer Jonathon Laurent graduating at the end of next season, reloading will be important. Fortunately, the class of 2019 is deep and talented, and will be better after having a year of college experience. The focus for 2020 should no doubt be on big men and versatile wings after bringing in guards Anderson, Harris Jr. and Watson as well as Davis already committed in 2020.
Just imagine for a second, a class with Cade Cunningham, Davonte Davis, Jaylin Williams and either Rondel Walker or Bryce Thompson. Get it done Coach B!