Big 12 Sports Articles

Step Aside Cade Cunningham, Watch Out For Matthew-Alexander Moncrieffe

NCAA Basketball: Oklahoma State at Texas

Ever since November 5 of last year, Cade Cunningham has been the talk of the town in Stillwater, and for good reason. Cunningham headlined a top-10 recruiting class for Mike Boynton and Oklahoma State, a feat that Cowboy basketball fans don’t experience often, much less a future NBA No. 1 pick.

The hype for Cade has lived up through the summer and through two games this college basketball season. But another elite member of Boynton’s 2020 class has somehow slipped through the cracks when it comes to the national media and college basketball fans. That being Matthew-Alexander Moncrieffe.

The 6 foot 7, 215-pound freak of an athlete out of Ontario, Canada, chose to play his college ball at Oklahoma State after being crowned the No. 1 prospect in Canada. This means that Mike Boynton has both the top American player and top Canadian player in his huddle this season, from the same recruiting class (golf clap for Mike Boynton, everyone).

The Canadian out of Orangeville Prep was massively undervalued as a recruit, however. As the top player of an entire country rich in basketball talent, he was only valued as a four-star by ESPN and Rivals, and the No. 57 player overall by 247Sports. This caused a lot of bigger schools to overlook him, something that Boynton and Co. took advantage of and pounced on. Now he’s a Cowboy, and Big 12 coaches should be worried.

 

His senior year of high school he averaged a cool 21.8 points, 7.6 rebounds and 2.1 steals while shooting 57% from the field. His efforts led Orangeville to the Ontario Final 8 Championship, a game where he posted 19 points and 12 rebounds.

Moncrieffe is a long, versatile athlete who excels at getting to the rim. Whether it’s taking someone off the dribble or taking the ball in the post, there isn’t much you can do to keep him out of the paint.

Some weaknesses have arisen in Moncrieffe’s first three games this season. He tends to lose control of his dribble if he’s doubled teamed in the post, a problem Yor Anei suffered last season, and he struggles from the free throw line. So far, he’s shooting a nasty 3-11 from the foul line at a .273 rate. He doesn’t have much in the way of a jump shot, but he’ll likely learn to develop one to adapt to college and pro defenses.

That’s right, I see this kid going relatively high in a future draft. He’s already slotted as a possible first-round pick in the 2022 NBA draft, and I think he’ll only raise his stock between now and then.

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