Cade Cunningham, a potential No. 1 pick in the 2021 NBA Draft, will stay at Oklahoma State despite the team’s postseason ban for next season. How will his decision impact the NCAA Basketball odds?
No NCAA Tournament in 2021 for Oklahoma State
The NCAA hit the Oklahoma State basketball program with a postseason ban for the 2020-21 season. This happened because former associate head coach Lamont Evans was found guilty of federal crimes. He was charged with unethical conduct by the NCAA.
Evans was one of four assistant coaches (and 10 men in total) arrested in 2017. All as part of an FBI probe into recruiting corruption. Oklahoma State became the first program to be served with sanctions as a result of a federal government’s undercover sting operation.
This led many to wonder about what that meant for Cade Cunningham, the No. 1 overall player in the class. Cunningham recently announced that he will remain with the team.
Why Cunningham Decided to Stay
Cunningham originally picked Oklahoma State over Kentucky back in November. Recruiting experts speculated that many teams would be after Cunningham if he decided to reopen his commitment.
Cunningham’s weren’t limited to college. According to reports, he was also considering the G League and playing professionally overseas. Sitting out a year in order to be able to train with his family in Dallas-Fort Worth also crossed his mind.
The reason why Cunningham decided to remain at Oklahoma State is the same one why he committed to play there… his brother,
Head Coach Mike Boynton Also Played a Part
“Early on, I thought about the options,” Cunningham told Stadium’s Jeff Goodman. “But as time went on, I realized I didn’t want to play for anyone else. The national championship is what I have always dreamed of, but at the end of the day I committed to Coach Boynton. I wasn’t going to play for anyone else. Loyalty was more important to me than everything else.”
Boynton’s time at Oklahoma State hasn’t been exactly what either he or the school expected when they began their partnership in 2017. Oklahoma State had to rebuild the program and they went just 51-49 overall in the last three seasons. Including a 20-34 record against Big 12 opponents and only an NIT appearance in 2018 to show for.
Last year, Oklahoma State improved their win total from 12 to 18. This year seems destined to be their best under Boynton. Cade Cunningham will stay and the returning talent is very solid. Boynton deserves a lot of credit because the school’s postseason ban didn’t lead to a mass exodus. Cunningham, productive guard Isaac Likekele and transfers Bryce Williams and Ferron Flavors are all staying. As well as sophomore guard Chris Harris Jr. and sophomore forward Kalib Boone.
This speaks volumes about Boynton’s character. Oklahoma State will not have a postseason but they will play the role of spoilers to Big 12 teams like Baylor (+900 to win the NCAA Tournament at BetOnline) and West Virginia (+1800 to win the NCAA Tournament).
The future of the program is extremely bright. I strongly suggest adding this team to your NCAA Basketball picks on a regular basis.