Oklahoma State promotes assistant Boynton to head coach

Oklahoma State promoted assistant Mike Boynton to head coach less than a week after Brad Underwood left for Illinois.

Oklahoma State announced the decision in a news release on Friday.

Boynton, 35, helped engineer Oklahoma State's run to the NCAA Tournament this season. He was an assistant for Underwood for three years at Stephen F. Austin and helped the Lumberjacks win 89 games.

''At the end of the day, we view coaching from the same perspective,'' athletic director Mike Holder said in a statement. ''All of the qualities that I value resonate in him. He said one thing that really stuck with me, that coaching is about leadership and family, and I agree with that wholeheartedly. I know I'm proud to have him as the leader of our basketball program, and think once people get to know him they'll feel the same way.''

Boynton might have a depleted roster. All-Big 12 point guard Jawun Evans has announced he is entering his name in the NBA draft. The team's No. 2 scorer, Jeffrey Carroll, announced Friday he will enter his name but won't hire an agent for now, meaning he could return.

Carroll, a second-team all-conference pick, made his announcement on the school's website.

''At this time, I think I would be silly to not test the NBA waters and seek the advice of actual NBA personnel, but I will do so without hiring an agent,'' he said. ''If their advice is that I return to college for my final year, I will proudly put on that Cowboy jersey and give my all for Oklahoma State.''

Shooting guard Phil Forte's eligibility is up after one of the most productive careers in school history.

Still, Boynton sees potential.

''Oklahoma State is one of the premier basketball programs in the country,'' Boynton said. ''To have this opportunity given to me by coach Holder and the OSU administration is something I could have only dreamed of. I'm very thankful and grateful to the players here, to the guys that I have played and worked with throughout my life, and to the Oklahoma State family for welcoming me and my family over the last year.''

Before heading to Stephen F. Austin, Boynton spent four years as an assistant at South Carolina. He played for South Carolina and earned a degree in African-American studies.

Underwood left Oklahoma State after one year. The Cowboys lost their first six Big 12 games this season before rallying down the stretch to finish 9-9 in league play. The Cowboys were among the nation's highest-scoring teams, averaging 85.7 points per game.

Oklahoma State did not expect to be looking for another coach so soon. Just a year ago, Underwood talked about his desire to return Oklahoma State to the level of the Henry Iba and Eddie Sutton glory days.

''We are saddened and disappointed in Brad's decision to leave Oklahoma State after one year,'' Holder said in a statement last week. ''We are trying to digest this news.''

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