Montreal Pena's an Under-The-Radar Star in the 2020 Class
STILLWATER – Oklahoma State fans and media alike have learned a lot about Montreal Pena this past week. While the media hasn’t had the chance to talk to him yet, we got some great insight from Cade Cunningham, as well as from Oklahoma State’s measurement/combine day.
Because Pena isn’t very active on social media, or wasn’t ranked very high by the recruiting services, he seemingly slipped by the wayside. Plus, the addition of the No. 1 overall prospects in the USA and Canada certainly take away any kind of spotlight. However, we’ve learned over the past two seasons that Mike Boynton and Co. don’t offer a scholarship to someone that hasn’t earned it and the more we learn about Pena, it’s becoming clear that he’s a great piece of the 2020 class.
Monday was testing day for Oklahoma State basketball and while we learned some impressive stats, a more complete list was released on Thursday by Cowboy basketball.
Pena checks in officially at 6-10, with a wingspan of 7 foot and a standing reach of just under 9 feet. He also recorded a max vertical jump of 42.5 inches. That jump would’ve been good enough for second at the 2019 NBA Combine behind Jalen Lecque who posted a 43-inch vertical.
"Montreal [Pena’s] one of my greatest friends in life,” Cunningham said. “He went to Arlington Martin, which was the rival of my high school. We played the last three AAU seasons together. That's one of my closest buddies. He came and worked out with me a bunch of times over the summer. He's not really into social media, he's a super under-the-radar guy, but he's a special, special, special athlete. I think he brings a whole lot to the table, being so underrated that will help us a lot."
Back in April, Mike Boynton and Erik Pastrana did a ‘Film Room’ video out on each of the 2020 signees and this is what they each had to say and Pena.
“Talk about long-term ability, there’s a lot of things to work with here,” Mike Boynton said of Montreal Pena. “Lot of physical tools. He’s a finisher as a shot blocker; you might think he’s tall when you just look at him, but he’s certainly somebody that can move and finish. Runs like a deer; has great, great upside. I think one of the things that’s underappreciated about him is his skill. He’s a guy who can pass and he can make jump shots as well. We’ll primarily need him early on to be somebody who can run the floor, catch and finish around the basket and then protect the rim for us on the other end.”
“[Pena’s] just another piece of the puzzle and us just adding to length and athleticism,” Erik Pastrana said. “I think those things all translate, not just offensively being able to play fast, but defensively being able to guard multiple positions, being able to get up the floor and disrupt offense. Obviously, his ability to protect the rim; us having KB [Kalib Boone] and Yor [Anei], we already have rim protectors, so we’re just kind of building on that, which is really important the way we defend and pressure the basketball.”
While Anei’s no longer on the roster having transferred from the program back in June, Pena is going to go a long way in helping replace the height and length down low. Also, as you read from Boynton, Cunningham and Pastrana, Pena brings a lot of athletic ability, only adding to the excitement of the 2020-21 season.