Oklahoma State Athletics

Oklahoma State promotes assistant coach Mike Boynton to head coach

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Oklahoma State has decided to promote assistant coach Mike Boynton to head coach, the school announced on Friday.

Boynton was an assistant with the Cowboys under former head coach Brad Underwood, who left Oklahoma State to take the Illinois job last weekend. Also an assistant coach at Stephen F. Austin, South Carolina, Wofford and Coastal Carolina, Boynton is a native of New York City who played his college ball for the Gamecocks.

The hire of Boynton is surprising since he doesn’t have any head-coaching experience as it follows in the footsteps of Cal promoting assistant coach Wyking Jones earlier in the day. Boynton also notably won the job over broadcaster and former Oklahoma State guard Doug Gottlieb as Gottlieb interviewed for the job but wasn’t selected.

 

No. 7 Michigan outlasts No. 10 Oklahoma State in battle of elite point guards

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The battle of elite points guard lived up to the hype as No. 7 seed Michigan and senior Derrick Walton Jr. outlasted No. 10 seed Oklahoma State and sophomore Jawun Evans for a 92-91 win during a first-round game Friday afternoon in the Midwest Region.

Both guards flirted with triple-doubles in this NCAA Tournament game in Indianapolis, but it was Walton and the Wolverines who continued their stretch of inspired play after a scare during last week involving the team plane. D.J. Wilson made the game-clinching free throws with 3.7 seconds left for Michigan as Evans buried a three-pointer as time expired to make it the one-point difference.

Michigan (25-11) was led by Walton as he finished with 26 points, 11 assists and five rebounds as the Wolverines shot a blistering 55 percent (16-for-29) from three-point range. At one point in the second half, the Wolverines were 11-for-15 in the half from three-point range as their ability to hit the long ball changed the game.

Continuing to look like one of the elite floor leaders in college basketball, Walton was once again matched against a very good counterpart and outplayed that player while getting his team the win. During Michigan’s recent six-game winning streak, Walton is averaging 21 points, 8.6 assists and 4.1 rebounds per game as he’s now become one of the tournament’s dangerous players.

Wilson added 19 points for the Wolverines while Zak Irvin and Muhammad-Ali Abdur-Rahkman each had 16 points to help form a balanced Michigan attack.

Oklahoma State (20-13) had a solid game from Evans as he totaled 23 points, 12 assists and seven rebounds. Although Evans was close to a triple-double he was only 10-for-26 from the field as he had a tough time getting some shots to fall around the rim. Jeffrey Carroll added 19 points while senior guard Phil Forte III added 12 points in his final college game. Davon Dillard also added 12 points for the Cowboys while Leyton Hammonds added 10 points.

Although Oklahoma State’s offense was once again good enough to keep them in this one, their perimeter defense allowed Michigan a number of easy different looks as the Cowboys lost another close game to a good team with a good offense.

Michigan moves on to face No. 2 seed Louisville in the second round of the Midwest Region on Sunday after the Cardinals ran past No. 15 seed Jacksonville State. The Wolverines have won eight of their last night games overall, including last week’s Big Ten Tournament title.

If Walton continues to play at an elite level and the Wolverines continue to stay motivated then they are going to be a dangerous team if Louisville advances. That could be one of the better second-round matchups in the tournament as Walton will go against some more high-quality guards in Donovan Mitchell and Quentin Snider for the Cardinals.

Monte Morris leads No. 23 Iowa State past Oklahoma State in Big 12 Tournament

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Senior Monte Morris put together an outstanding performance with 21 points, 10 rebounds and nine assists as No. 23 Iowa State raced past Oklahoma State, 92-83, in the Big 12 quarterfinals on Thursday afternoon.

Morris had a triple-double earlier this season against The Citadel, but his performance on Thursday was far more special. This game came against a tournament-bound Cowboy team with an All-American guard in Jawun Evans during postseason play.

It’s part of the reason that Morris was selected to the NBCSports.com All-American team earlier this week. He was simply dominant on Thursday and Iowa State’s offense looked nearly unstoppable.

While Evans also had a strong game of his own with 29 points and four assists, Morris helped pace the No. 4 seed Cyclones (21-10) as their offense finished 12-for-24 from three-point range.

Morris had plenty of help from teammates as four other Iowa State players finished with at least 13 points. Senior Deonte Burton finished with 17 points while Naz Mitrou-Long added 14 points. Matt Thomas and Darrell Bowie both finished with 13 points.

It was the type of balanced effort that is going to make Iowa State an incredibly tough out next week. The Cyclones are playing with a lot of confidence since moving freshman forward Solomon Young into the starting lineup as this team’s four seniors on the perimeter are really clicking.

When you also get quality bench production from guys like Bowie and junior shooter Donovan Jackson (eight points) then it doesn’t matter if the Cyclones allow some points because that offense is tough to contain.

Iowa State can now potentially get a crack at No. 1 Kansas in a rubber-match that would be a ton of fun. This newer version of the Cyclones with Young could be an intriguing matchup with the Jayhawks and it should be a fun, up-and-down affair.

Oklahoma State (20-12) had a strong game from Jeffrey Carroll (21 points) as they’re still going to be safely in the NCAA tournament.

The Cowboys have dropped three straight games heading into next week but those losses all came against good teams. As a probable 7-through-10 seed (to give a generous range), the Cowboys are going to be an intriguing team to watch in the tournament based on matchup.

Evans is as good as any point guard in the country and Carroll and senior Phil Forte gives the Cowboys enough offensive firepower to hang with anyone. Given head coach Brad Underwood’s NCAA tournament track record at Stephen F. Austin the last three seasons — winning two out of three first-round games — the Cowboys should be well-prepared for anything.

No. 2 Kansas survives scare from Oklahoma State

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Despite poor perimeter shooting and a sluggish first-half effort, No. 2 Kansas was able to survive a scare from Oklahoma State in an 87-80 home Big 12 win on Saturday afternoon.

The Jayhawks (16-1, 5-0) trailed, 40-36, at the break and only shot 25 percent (5-for-20) from three-point range but they rallied thanks to strong outings from its perimeter group. Senior Frank Mason paced the Jayhawks in scoring with 22 points and freshman Josh Jackson played one of his most complete games this season as he finished with 20 points, 10 rebounds, four steals and two blocks. Devonte Graham (21 points) and Svi Mykhailiuk (14 points) were the other two double-figure scorers for the Jayhawks on Saturday — as the team used only seven players.

Oklahoma State (10-7, 0-5) did an admirable job of staying in this game, especially when you consider that Phil Forte and Jawun Evans combined to go 9-for-32 from the field. Jeffrey Carroll picked up the slack for the struggling Cowboy backcourt as he finished with 23 points while forward Mitchell Soloman added 16 points on 6-for-6 shooting. Evans finished with 15 points for the afternoon while Forte added 10.

Kansas winning this game on an off-shooting night is a good sign of things to come but it’s also something to keep an eye on as the season progresses. If the Jayhawks are forced to continue to play with a limited rotation of only seven players, that could mean some tired legs and some bad shooting nights that this team might be forced to overcome during the rest of the season. Even if Kansas doesn’t have the best shooting game, the trio of Mason, Graham and Jackson can still do so many other things and senior center Landen Lucas is also coming on strong at the start of Big 12 play.

Things aren’t looking so good for Oklahoma State now that they’ve fallen to 0-5 in the Big 12. At one point this season, it looked like the Cowboys might be in position for a potential NCAA tournament run but those hopes have been dashed after this recent stretch. The best win for the Cowboys this season came on the road at Wichita State as the 2-1 stretch at the Maui Invitational with wins over UConn and Georgetown no longer means much of anything.

Oklahoma State lands St. John’s transfer Yankuba Sima

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Oklahoma State landed a solid big man transfer late this week with the addition of St. John’s sophomore Yankuba Sima. The transfer destination of Sima was first reported by Jon Rothstein of FanRag Sports.

The 6-foot-11 Sima was a solid rim protector for the Red Storm as a freshman as he put up 7.3 points, 5.7 rebounds and 2.5 blocks per game in 23.4 minutes per game. As a sophomore, Sima saw his minutes decrease to around 17 per game as he was averaging 6.0 points and 3.5 rebounds per game. Sima’s shot-blocking numbers dramatically decreased to 0.5 per game as a sophomore but his free-throw shooting did improve from 38 percent to a respectable 72 percent.

Sima will likely have to sit out the first semester next season and should be available for the second half of next season for Oklahoma State.

Oklahoma State adds 2017 commitment from guard Amauri Hardy

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Oklahoma State added an important commitment from one of the best available Class of 2017 guards on Friday as Amauri Hardy pledged to the Cowboys.

The 6-foot-2 Hardy is regarded by some recruiting services as a top-100 player as he gives head coach Brad Underwood a key commitment for Oklahoma State. A quick scoring guard who plays with a lot of energy, Hardy had a solid summer with The Family as the Michigan native offers up some insurance for Oklahoma State at guard.

Since Phil Forte is exhausting his eligibility after this season and sophomore point guard Jawun Evans is having a monster year and could go pro, having Hardy’s commitment is a good backup plan. If Evans does return for his junior season, Hardy can provide valuable backup minutes while also being able to play a bit off the ball alongside Evans.

Hardy joins four-star guard Zach Dawson and three-star forward Latravian Glover in Oklahoma State’s Class of 2017 recruiting efforts.