Cade Cunningham, the No. 2 ranked player in the Class of 2020, has a chance to be the most impactful recruit Oklahoma State has landed this decade. Cunningham is the second-highest recruit to ever commit to OSU since recruiting rankings began in the early 2000s.
Gerald Green holds the top spot as OSU’s highest ranked recruit from back in 2005 — the last to be able to forego college for the NBA. This means Cunningham will be the highest ranked recruit to ever play a minute for the Cowboys.
One of Eddie Sutton’s last recruiting classes was arguably his highest rated, but that doesn’t mean things turned out well for the team. The Cowboys were fresh off a 2004 Final Four run and capitalized on that momentum by hauling in the No. 1 class in America. The class was headlined by the aforementioned Green, who decided to forego college and enter the 2005 NBA draft. Green was drafted No. 18 by the Celtics and has bounced around the NBA for years as a productive journeyman.
The rest of the class included:
- No. 12 Keith Brumbaugh: Never played for OSU and was named a top-10 college basketball bust of all time by Bleacher Report
- No. 18 Byron Eaton: Had a productive career for OSU.
- No. 34 Roderick Flemings: Transferred to Hawaii after one year at OSU
- No. 70 Kenneth Cooper: Transferred after two seasons
- No. 75 Terrel Harris: Had a productive four-year OSU career
The class had 10 signees according to 247Sports, with six ranked in the top 75. Of those six, only two made a difference in Stillwater. Who could Cunningham potentially recruit to OSU to make the class of 2020 rival the quality of 2005?
The biggest name linked to OSU is four-star forward JT Thor. The 6-foot-8 big man visited Stillwater the same weekend Cunningham did in September. Thor’s crystal ball and all rumors point toward him joining Cunningham and Rondel Walker.
The addition of Thor to this class would give the Cowboys a team score of 63.43 according to the 247Sports class calculator. It would put Mike Boynton’s squad at No. 5 nationally and one spot above Texas Tech.
With the potential signing of Thor, Boynton would have two remaining spots to play with. Here are a handful of options for those final spots.
We’ll go ahead and get the most unlikely name out of the way. Cunningham has mentioned a few guys he would like to play with; one being five-star forward Greg Brown. Cunningham named dropped Brown’s name in an interview with Rivals’ Corey Evans on Wednesday.
Brown is a pipe dream no matter how much Cunningham may want him. OSU was not in Brown’s top five in August. However, there is no indication that a commitment is near for Brown, and Cunningham could be able to talk him into OSU if he has enough time.
Brown’s crystal ball has him as a 100 percent Texas lean. If that holds true, Texas, OSU, Texas Tech and Kansas would each have a recruit ranked in the top 22. Baylor has a recruit ranked No. 51 and Iowa State has one at No. 59 as well.
Mike Miles has long been linked to OSU, but the Cowboys don’t have much room for him. The current backcourt for 2020-21 includes Isaac Likekele, Avery Anderson, Chris Harris Jr., Rondel Walker and Cunningham. Miles would normally be a nice add, but he’ll likely opt for a program that could offer more immediate playing time.
With Lindy Waters and Thomas Dziagwa graduating, wing depth could be important to find. A commitment from Thor would help plug the hole left by Cam McGriff, so the final two offers will likely go out to switchable wing players.
Three-star forward Montreal Pena played with Cunningham and Walker on the Texas Titans on the EYBL circuit this summer, and OSU is currently Pena’s only offer. Pena has good size at 6-9, but is a long-term project type that may not be ready to contribute next season. Additionally, it seems he will reclassify to the 2021 class.
Boynton will also likely look to the graduate transfer market or for players who have waited late into the recruiting process to make a decision. Whoever Boynton lands next will help the 2020 class inch closer to the rating of the 2005 group, and while it might not be as heralded as 2005 it could be better once it hits the court.