Mike Boynton had a checklist last offseason, and the biggest to-do item was to add height and rim protection to the team’s interior depth.
The Oklahoma State head coach believes the Cowboys were able to address that issue thanks to the transfer portal.
“Our program has taken baby steps in the right direction each year and revamped our roster to where we fell we can be really competitive on a nightly basis,” Boynton said during Big 12 Media Day on Wednesday. “Last year was we didn’t have enough interior depth. We played Cade (Cunningham) and Ice (Isaac Likekele) inside a lot and posted them up. We didn’t have depth in rim protection. It was an area of concern and we added some depth and size that we think can negate some of those issues.”
Memphis transfer Moussa Cisse averaged 6.3 rebounds and 1.64 blocks per game last season and was named the American Athletic Conference’s Freshman of the Year. The 6-foot-10 sophomore brings a 7-foot-6 wingspan.
Texas Tech transfer Tyreek Smith made an impression for the Red Raiders last season, as he led Texas Tech in production per minute in both rebounds (.29) and blocks (.09) during the 2020-21 season.
The Cowboys are coming off a 21-9 season, during which the Cowboys were led by the nation’s No. 1 recruit, Cunningham, who was selected No. 1 overall in the NBA Draft by the Detroit Pistons. During Cunningham’s one season in Stillwater, he helped the Cowboys to the Big 12 Tournament championship game, where they lost to Texas, and into the NCAA Tournament for the first time in Boynton’s tenure.
The Cowboys won their first NCAA Tournament game against Liberty, 69-60, but followed that with a loss to Oregon State in the second round.
The Cowboys didn’t have a recruiting class for 2021, but the vast majority of the Cowboys return for this season, led by guards Avery Anderson III and Rondel Walker, along with forward Kalib Boone. The Cowboys were able to take two other transfers in Syracuse forward Woody Newton and Kansas guard Bryce Thompson.
The Cowboys open the regular season at home on Nov. 9 against UT Arlington.
Heartland College Sports Big 12 Basketball Preview
Top 25 Returning Players: No. 25 Jonathan Tchamwa Tchatchoua| No. 24 Christian Braun | No. 23 Rondel Walker | No. 22 Umoja Gibson | No. 21 Matthew Alexander-Moncrieffe | No. 20 Nijel Pack | No. 19: Marcus Santos-Silva | No. 18 Mike McGuirl| No. 17 Jalen Bridges | No. 16 Kalib Boone | No. 15 Kevin McCullar | No. 14 Isaac Likekele | No. 13 Adam Flagler | No. 12 Jalen Coleman-Lands | No. 11 Sean McNeil | No. 10 Taz Sherman
You can find Matthew Postins on Twitter @PostinsPostcard.
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