Oklahoma State fans all felt a little wheezy around lunch time on Wednesday, and it wasn’t due to their sack lunches.
Mike Boynton announced that three players, Michael Weathers, Kentrevious Jones, and Maurice Calloo, had all been kicked off the team due to a violation of team rules.
If leaves the Cowboys in a tough spot, with just nine players left on the roster and eight on scholarship for the 2018-19 season. OSU was already down one player after the program and grad-transfer point guard Mike Cunningham parted ways a few weeks ago.
With those four losses, here is what the roster will look like for the rest of this season:
|Lindy Waters, III
So what does this all mean moving forward, both for the current season and the next?
For now, there is at least the good news that these dismissals don’t directly affect the starting line-up. McGriff, Waters, Dizzy, Likekele, and Anei are all still here and all healthy (knock on wood). However, there will be a lot more pressure put on them to produce and play more minutes due to a lack of depth.
That pressure will especially be put on Lindy Waters who has been helping with ball handling duties after the loss of Cunningham. It wasn’t pretty early, but Waters is finally starting to look like a capable Robin to Likekele’s Batman when it comes to running the point, and it couldn’t have come at a better time. With Weathers gone — a guy who while turnover prone was providing some help when Likekele took a breather — Waters and Likekele are the team’s only two guys Boynton has so far shown trust to bring the ball up the court.
I would expect to see Curtis Jones start taking some of the load in that department. It’s not his traditional role, but he could become someone trusted to facilitate more than he has.
Jones, along with Duncan Demuth and probably Luke Majors, are going to be asked to do a lot more than they have been, especially when it comes to producing numbers. Oklahoma State just lost 13 points, 5.8 rebounds, and 2.6 assists per game.
Looking past this season, the future looks a lot dimmer than it did just a few days ago. Now instead of building toward a break-through 2019-20 season, Oklahoma State fans may have to delay those hopes for another year.
The Cowboys will have four seniors on next season’s roster in McGriff, Dizzy, Waters, and Jones (barring none decide to leave early) but will have zero juniors on the roster.
Oklahoma State will bring in four new players in the 2019 class in Keylan and Kalib Boone, Marcus Watson, and Avery Anderson, and now there will be even more pressure on them to produce quickly than there would have been.
On the positive side, OSU now has the available scholarships to sign all four 2019 commits (they were one scholarship short until these dismissals). That now also leaves two available scholarships for the 2019 season, unless Mike Boynton decides to extend Trey Reeves one-year scholarship for another year.
I wouldn’t expect to see another four-year player brought in. More likely Boynton looks for immediate help with the addition of another mid-year transfer ala Curtis Jones and potentially a grad transfer. The Cowboys will need to add a fourth ball-handler and likely another forward to add depth inside.
What was already a rough season isn’t likely to get much better now. That said, Boynton wouldn’t have made the decision he made if he could have avoided it. It’s another step back in the short term, but I choose to remain positive and belief that it will all pay off in the long run.