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What Cade Cunningham would mean for Oklahoma State

A top-5 player in the 2020 class is trending toward the Cowboys on his Crystal Ball, so let’s play some ‘what-if...’

Twitter [@CadeCunningham]

We’re almost a couple months removed from the crowning of college basketball’s 2019 champs, but that doesn’t mean the recruiting rumor mill takes a break. Thursday we got an extra juicy one when PFB posted that 2020 point forward Cade Cunningham’s 247 Crystal Ball was trending heavily in favor of Oklahoma State.

Later in the day at least some amount of that interest was confirmed when OSU was included in his Top 10.

Under Coach Boynton’s leadership, it seems like making Top __’s of five-star players has become a regular occurrence, but becoming that final school remaining has thus far eluded the Pokes’ grasp. That’s why the Top 10 list was nice, but it’s the sudden crystal ball focus that has grabbed Cowboy fan’s attention in the middle of the offseason.

Keep in mind, it’s very early and recruiting is far from an exact science, but we decided it would be fun to explore what this kind of commitment would mean for Oklahoma State.

From a rating perspective, Cunningham would be the third highest rated commitment ever at OSU, only behind Gerald Green (who never made it to campus) and Lebryan Nash. *all of the eyeball emojis*. He’s ranked number 5, 8, and 8 on 247, Rivals, and ESPN respectively, and after his EYBL performance this Summer, there’s loud whispers that his stock could climb even higher.

That’s a lot of words just to say that this kid is the truth, but it can’t be stressed enough how good he actually is. Obviously this speaks to players from his home state of Texas, where OSU has had success in the past with a number of high level players, but this kind of commitment would resonate up to the highest tier of recruits for the 2020 class and beyond (e.g Bryce Thompson, Isaiah Todd). It suddenly signals that Oklahoma State can be a destination landing spot for anyone.

From a positional standpoint, he is listed as a small forward on 247 and Rivals, and a point guard on ESPN. His 6’6 frame belies the small forward tag, but he has played a lot of point guard and has made it clear in interviews that he wouldn’t shy away from being a 1 at the next level.

As for my position in college, I love running the point; I play it at Montverde and I play it for the Texas Titans and I feel like I’m at my best when I have the ball in my hands making plays for everyone. It’s not a deal breaker if the school wants to use me in a different way; I’m all about whatever makes me better. I definitely feel like I can play with another elite point guard, I think that would make the team even more dangerous. I just want to make plays wherever I’m playing; what’s most appealing to me. {USA Today}

We’ve seen the level of dominance a big point guard can have at this level up close with Marcus Smart, but the flexibility Cunningham would add to a roster loaded with talented size would be nice as well. *Dreams of lineups with everyone 6’6+ and uber-athletic*.

I think with the level of talent OSU currently has at the point with Isaac Likekele and incoming with Avery Anderson and Chris Harris, I see Cunningham being created for more than doing the creating at OSU. However, I wouldn’t be surprised to see him do a little of both. Something like:

PG: Likekele

SG: Cunningham

SF: Watson

PF: Boone

C: Anei

(Take a minute to think about what that would leave on the bench by the way, Boynton is building a monster, people.)

Assuming things go Cunningham’s way he won’t be in Stillwater for longer than a year, so that limits his impact somewhat (and this phenomenon may not be long for the world anyways), but Boynton will do his best to get the most out of his year in Stillwater.

It shouldn’t be too hard with ability like this:

And this:

So if we do land this level of talent, while it lasts, enjoy. Hopefully it leads to more players like him wanting to call our home theirs too.