STILLWATER -- As members of the Oklahoma State athletic department, including head coach Mike Boynton, continue to work on building the best appeals case, Boynton and Co. continue recruiting.
On Thursday, 2023 five-star, Rayvon Griffith, tweeted out that he received an offer from Oklahoma State.
As of Thursday evening, Griffith currently holds offers from Oklahoma State and Grambling State.
Griffith, a 6-4, 180-pound shooting guard out of Robert A. Taft High School in Cincinnati, Ohio, is ranked as the No. 22nd overall prospect in the 2023 class by ESPN, as well as the No. 1 overall prospect out of Ohio and the No. 4 ranked shooting guard in the country.
This past season, Griffith was tabbed as a MaxPreps First-Team Freshman All-American while averaging 26.5 points, 13.1 rebounds, 4.3 assists and four steals per game.
While he's only heading into his sophomore season, I believe this offer for Boynton and Co. is an important one. Not because they're guaranteed to land Griffith, or for the fact that he played on the same AAU team, Blue Chips Bronny James, the son of LeBron James. No, it's for the fact that even with NCAA penalties that include the loss of three scholarships over the next three years, Boynton and Co. are still going after high-profile prospects.
I was having a conversation with someone close to Boynton and the basketball team yesterday and something came up that was rather amazing.
While we've all heard the allegations, then ultimately the penalties, something that I had read about, but never really dawned on me until last night is Mike Boynton's name never came up by the FBI or the NCAA.
A young, first-year head coach, who's associate head coach has been wire taped for who knows how long, never did anything illegal or against NCAA rules to try and bring a program back to national relevance. And that goes back to when he was just an assistant as well.
But that all goes back to what we've been hearing from players and recruits for the past three years: they want to play for Mike Boynton because he's real and he's honest.
The entire 2019 recruiting class, the Boone twins, Chris Harris, Avery Anderson, grad transfer Jonathan Laurent, all said it was Boynton and his realness and honesty with them that cause them to commit.
It's Boynton's realness and honesty that's causing players, like grad transfer Ferron Flavors Jr., who only has one more year of eligibility to play in the NCAA tournament, to remain committed to the program despite a postseason ban for the upcoming season.
There have been several instances over the past three years from Boynton that's proved just how loyal and genuine he is, but for me, the quote he gave during the Zoom call last Friday after the NCAA handed down its penalties against the men's basketball team jumped to the front of the line.
“Just from the player standpoint, I’m not going to allow any player to get screwed in this process. That’s not going to happen,” said coach Boynton. “Any player who stays with our program, will do it with their eyes wide open as to what exactly is going on. They’ll understand that there’s a risk involved, for instance, a lot of talk has been about Cade. I’ve also got a grad transfer committed and signed to come to our university, so it would in a sense be his only opportunity to play college basketball, his last opportunity. So, those conversations will be real and thorough and I’m going to make sure we guide them and help them make the best decision. And if it’s the case they want to be at Oklahoma State, then we’re going to support that as well, but we’re not going to screw these kids over again after what has already happened.”
I find it hard to believe there's many coaches in college basketball that would actively help all of his players make the right decision after the NCAA levied penalties against the program, even if that decision meant hurting the program.
That's the reason Mike Boynton and Co. have been so successful out on the recruiting trail for the last three years. That's why Boynton and Co. have one of the best college point guards in the country and the best overall high school player coming to Stillwater.
That's the reason you'll see Boynton and Co. continue to offer high-profile prospects, such as Rayvon Griffith, or the entire 2020 class, and it's why you'll continue to see Boynton and Co. landing high-profile recruits.