Leading up to the opening of the 2021-22 Big 12 Men’s basketball season Heartland College Sports will analyze each of the Big 12 men’s basketball rosters. Today it’s the Oklahoma State Cowboys.
2020-21 Season-Ending Roster (bold denotes returning for 2021-22): G Avery Anderson III (6-foot-3), G Chris Harris Jr. (6-2), G Cade Cunningham (6-8), G Donovan Williams (6-5), G Rondel Walker (6-4), F Matthew Alexander-Moncrieffe (6-7), G Isaac Likekele (6-5), G Bryce Williams (6-2), G Carson Sager (6-4), G/F Keylan Boone (6-8), F Kalib Boone (6-9), F Bernard Kouma (6-10), G Ferron Flavors Jr. (6-3), G Weston Church (6-3), G Dee Mitchell (6-2).
Left for pro basketball: Cunningham.
Left due to eligibility: None.
Left program to transfer: Flavors (Robert Morris)
Joined program via transfer: C Moussa Cissé (Memphis), F Woody Newton (Syracuse), F Tyreek Smith (Texas Tech), G Bryce Thompson (Kansas).
Class of 2021 Recruits: None.
Potential starting lineup: Anderson, Likekele, Kalib Boone, Walker, Alexander-Moncrieffe.
Why?: Look at this roster? The continuity is the best in the Big 12 going into this season. All of these players started at some point for the Cowboys last season, and if I’m trying to put together a starting lineup from the holdover players, this is probably the lineup I would start with. But, let’s be clear — the Cowboys have an ultra-competitive roster going into the season and projecting what head coach Mike Boynton Jr. COULD start on opening night is a bit perilous.
The bench: Harris, Bryce Williams, Newton, Smith, Thompson, Cissé.
Why? Harris started several games for the Cowboys last season and he can settle into an immediate bench role, thanks to his experience. Williams can become an outside shooting threat for the Cowboys. OSU knows what they’re getting out of Smith — an energetic rebounder who can block shots (the Cowboys got a look at him last season when he was at Texas Tech). Thompson and Newton are the other two transfers that are most likely to make an immediate impact off the bench. Cissé is probably a backup center for Kalib Boone at this point.
The wild card: Kouma. He got some solid minutes in the final few games of the season and showed himself to be an emerging defender and rebounder. His development this offseason could make this team even deeper.
By Big 12 Play?: Depending upon the progress of Newton and Thompson in the Cowboys’ system, I could see one, or both, sliding into the starting lineup. But, this is the rare team that has so many options that it’s unclear who you bench to move them into the starting lineup. That’s a great problem for Boynton to have going into this season.
You can find Matthew Postins on Twitter @PostinsPostcard.
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