Oklahoma State landed its first verbal commitment in the Class of 2016 Sunday afternoon, as three-star guard Thomas Dziagwa announced via Twitter that he will be a Cowboy. Dziagwa, a senior at Tampa Catholic (Florida), is regarded as one of the top perimeter shooters in the state.
The 6-foot-4 Dziagwa averaged nearly 27 points per game as a junior, and he played for the Florida Sons on the adidas Gauntlet circuit this summer. Oklahoma State will lose two senior guards at the end of the 2015-16 season in Jeff Newberry and Phil Forte III, with the latter being the Cowboys’ best perimeter shooter.
While Oklahoma State has a host of options on the wing, they don’t have much depth at the guard spots when it comes to the future. Freshman Jawun Evans and sophomore Tyree Griffin are the only guards on the current roster with eligibility remaining beyond the 2015-16 season, so adding another guard was something Oklahoma State needed to do.
Oklahoma State cut ties with guard Stevie Clark back in Feb. 2014. According to a report on Friday night, the ex-Cowboy is now in the process of taking his former school and its head coach to court.
Stevie Clark field a lawsuit in Oklahoma County Court earlier this week, claiming he was promised a car during his recruitment, that he was used as a “scapegoat” for teammates and that he was put on psychotropic drugs, according to a complaint obtained by Mark Cooper of the Tulsa World.
“Various promises were made with regard to playing time and ensuring that Stevie made it to the next level,” the complaint states. “Travis Ford even promised Stevie a Camaro.”
Clark claims that he faced “hazing and disrespect” from teammate Marcus Smart, a sophomore at the time and the team’s leading scorer.
When he expressed frustration to Ford, Clark alleges he was put on psychotropic drugs without his consent. He was required to take the medication to continue practicing with the team, according to the complaint.
Clark committed to Oklahoma State as a four-star prospect, ranked as the No. 70 overall player in the Class of 2013 by Rivals. His stint with the Cowboys was short, averaging 5.3 points, 2.7 assists and 1.4 rebounds per game in only 16 appearances as a freshman during the 2013-14 season.
His lone collegiate season included several incidents. He was sent home from the team’s trip to Orlando for the Old Spice Classic in Nov. 2013. He missed all four games on that trip for undisclosed reasons. According to the complaint, marijuana found in his room was the cause of that suspension. However, Clark believes he was used as a scapegoat for other members of the team.
Clark’s off-the-court issues continued into 2014. On New Year’s Day, he was arrested for possession of marijuana. Clark was later dismissed from the program on Feb. 4, a day he was arrested again, this time for urinating out the window of a moving vehicle.
Clark would transfer to Indian Hills Community College in the summer of 2014, but left the junior college before ever playing in a game.
With California receiving a verbal commitment from three-star forward Roman Davis earlier Wednesday, the immediate question was what this meant for Davon Dillard. Dillard, who verbally committed to Cuonzo Martin’s program in March, had yet to sign either a National Letter of Intent or a Grant-In-Aid form to ensure that he’d be a Golden Bear.
Late Wednesday night the situation gained clarity, as it was reported by multiple outlets (first reported by CBSSports.com) that Dillard will instead be attending Oklahoma State to play for Travis Ford.
The 6-foot-6 small forward, who attended Our Savior New American in Centereach, New York, is Oklahoma State’s second addition in the freshman class and fourth addition overall. Dillard joins point guard Jawun Evans, who’s currently playing with the United States U19 team at the FIBA U19 World Championships, as freshmen in the recruiting class.
Graduate student Chris Olivier (via Eastern Illinois) and Northeastern Oklahoma A&M transfer Igor Ibaka also join Travis Ford’s program, which returns three starters from last season’s NCAA tournament team led by guard Phil Forte III. Dillard joins a program that returns some pieces at the three, but of those players (Leyton Hammonds, Tavarius Shine, Jeff Carroll and Joe Burton) none averaged more than 3.9 points per game.
With that being the case, there is the opportunity for Dillard to compete for minutes as a freshman.