Cowboy Basketball Round Up: May 23

Zach Lancaster

STILLWATER -- Friday, May 23, was a Big 12 across the national landscape. The SEC announced earlier in the day that they would be allowing student-athletes to return on June 8. Later in the day, the Big 12 also voted to allow student-athletes back on campus.

Big 12 student-athletes will be allowed back on campuses in phases with football returning on June 15, remaining fall sports such as volleyball, soccer and cross country on July 1 and winter and spring sport athletes on July 15.

That means Mike Boynton and Co. will get to bring in their highly-ranked 2020 recruiting class, led by No. 1 overall prospect Cade Cunningham, and begin preparing for what could be a highly-successful 2020-21 campaign.

We're going to be taking a look at the Cowboy basketball headlines from the past week, as well as a little bit of 2021 recruiting.

Jeffrey Carroll signs with De'Longhi Treviso

Former Oklahoma State standout Jeffrey Carroll moved up a league on Friday as he signed with Italian club De'Longhi Treviso of the Serie A league.

Carroll was having an outstanding year with Bergamo before the coronavirus struck and ended the season early. He was averaging 17.9 points and 6.2 rebounds per game.

The upcoming season will mark Carroll's third year playing professional ball and is poised to continue his trend upwards.

Mike Boynton tabbed as No. 4 on ESPN's 40-under-40 list

It should come as no surprise that Mike Boynton made ESPN's 40-under-40 list checking in at No. 4 on the list. The 38-year old out of Brooklyn, NY has seen more and more success each season he's been in Stillwater, albeit in different forms.

His best season in terms of record came in the first year of his tenure as the Cowboys finished 21-15 and included upsets of No. 19 Florida State, No. 4(9) Oklahoma (x2), No. 7 Kansas (x2), No. 17 West Virginia and No. 6 Texas Tech.

They did all of that with an FBI investigation looming over their heads.

The next season, they finished below .500, but Boynton and Co. had to get rid of a good portion of players and hold an open tryout just to fill a practice roster. He did, however, guide the program through the FBI investigation virtually unscathed and proceeded to put together a top-25 recruiting class.

This past season, the Cowboys finished 18-14 and were well on their way to an impressive finish to the season before the coronavirus hit. Oh, and Boynton and Co. also managed to put together the No. 4 overall recruiting class headlined by the No. 1 overall prospect in the 2020 class, Cade Cunningham.

So, No. 4 on the 40-under-40 list? Absolutely.

Top-25 2021 prospect names Pokes in top-11

The recruiting prowess of Mike Boynton is appearing to carry over to the 2021 class.

On May 21, the No. 25 overall prospect in the 2021 class, Langston Love, put out a top-11 list that included Oklahoma State.

Langston, a 6-4, 190-pound shooting guard out of Montverde (FL) Academy is four-star prospect in the 2021 class and the teammate of Cade Cunningham.

Can Boynton and Co. create a pipeline to one of the nation's top high school programs? It's certainly possible, especially if the Cowboys have success this upcoming season with Cunningham.

Cowboys offer rising 2021 Waxahachi (TX) shooting guard

While Boynton and Co. have showed over the past two classes that they can bring top-tier talent, they've also proved over the past two seasons that they know how to evaluate.

In Boynton's first recruiting class as head coach, they brought in Isaac Likekele and Yor Anei. When Boynton offered, Likekele was committed to Fresno State. He decommitted, took an official visit to Stillwater and the rest is history. He's one of the toughest point guards in the NCAA, he helped USA Basketball win a U19 FIBA World Cup, alongside Cade Cunningham, and is poised to be one of the top players in the Big 12 next season.

As for Anei, he wasn't ranked coming out of high school and held four offers, Oklahoma State, Central Arkansas, Denver and UAB. Once in Stillwater, Boynton and Co. turned him into one of the nation's top shot-blockers.