Experience is Going To Be Key for Mike Boynton and Co. in 2020-21
STILLWATER – When it comes down to it, Oklahoma State has one of the younger rosters in the Big 12, with the two most experienced players on the team being transfers.
Here’s the breakdown:
- Two seniors: Bryce Williams, Ferron Flavors Jr. (GR)
- Two juniors: Isaac Likekele, Dee Mitchell (WO)
- Five sophomores: Avery Anderson III, Chris Harris Jr., Keylan Boone, Kalib Boone, Bernard Kouma
- Seven freshmen: Cade Cunningham, Donovan Williams, Rondel Walker, Matthew-Alexander Moncrieffe, Carson Sager (WO), Montreal Pena, Weston Church (WO)
The two seniors, Bryce Williams and Ferron Flavors Jr, are newcomers to the program as they were brought in during the 2020 signing class. The Cowboys won’t be starting the season until Nov. 25 and they won’t be playing in any exhibition games or closed scrimmages with other programs prior to the start of the season. That means Mike Boynton and Co. are going to have to rely on returning experience to hopefully fill the gap of not having a lot of tune up opportunities before Nov. 25.
“So, at the end of last season, I don't know if it was quite our last game, regular season game or not, but it was maybe a week before,” coach Boynton said. “I sat down, I usually meet with the seniors and I usually meet with everybody that's not a senior in separate meetings and I've told those guys, if they looked around the room, we wouldn't have a senior on the roster if we didn't add someone. And we obviously did in Bryce [Williams] and Ferron [Flavors Jr.]. But that those guys are going to have to step up and be ready to lead, to be the example for whoever's going to be in our program, because even for a guy like Ferron, it's still Year 1 for him here.
"The expectation is that those guys have to set the example of they know what I expect," continued Boynton. "They know what practices are supposed to look like, they know how we prepare for games and so it's vitally important for as much talent as we have in our freshman class that really our sophomores, plus [Isaac Likekele] are the guys who carry us early on and help those guys come along, because they don't really understand the sense of urgency that it takes to have success at this level yet."
Hopefully both Flavors and Williams are able to make the adjustment and transition rather quickly as they Pokes will need that experience on the outside. A guy we haven’t heard a lot about yet is one of those seniors, transfer guard Bryce Williams. He came to Oklahoma State from Ole Miss and played under Erik Pastrana while he was at Dayton State (JUCO).
"I've known Bryce for a few years now,” said coach Boynton. “When [Erik] Pastrana was his junior college coach, it was actually right after Pastrana and I had worked together for three years so he told him about him way back then. He ended up leaving to go to Florida Atlantic and I continued to watch him, but I was recruiting Bryce when Erik left. We've known him, and then we got a chance to play against him probably in our best offensive performance of the year last year in Brooklyn. But he's really, really talented. He's kind of a mix of all of our guards put together. I don't know if he does anything better than — like for instance, Ferron [Flavors] is probably our best shooter, I don't know if he shoots it better than Ferron, but he maybe our second-best shooter. Cade [Cunningham] is our best play-maker, and I'm not sure he's a better play-maker than Cade, but he's probably our second-best play-maker. So, he's got the combination to shoot and make plays, he's really athletic and he can guard both the one and two. So, he's got a lot of things that he can bring to us. I see him as a, right now, and I don't try to project starting lineups, but a guy that can bring tremendous value at the front of our bench rotation and bring some experience, which we definitely need with this group."
I think the group of sophomores and Isaac Likekele should be able to bridge the gap early on in the season. I also don't think it will take that long for guys like Flavors and Williams and Cunningham and Moncrieffe to get adjusted to playing at Oklahoma State.