Texas Basketball: Cade Cunningham shocks Big 12 by staying with OK State

The 2020 Texas basketball recruiting class had a sizable miss in 5-Star Montverde Academy point guard Cade Cunningham, who pledge to OK State.

A key player that the Texas basketball program is going to have to deal with during the upcoming 2020-21 season is the nation’s top 2020 high school prospect, five-star Montverde Academy sizable 6-foot-6 point guard Cade Cunningham. Despite the recent sanctions that hit head coach Mike Boynton and the Oklahoma State Cowboys men’s basketball program, the possible top pick in the 2021 NBA Draft is sticking around in Stillwater.

The NCAA handed the Oklahoma State men’s hoops program a rather stern punishment this offseason, which includes a loss in scholarships for the next few years at least and a postseason ban for this coming season. Considering they have the nation’s top incoming freshman joining the squad this year, this was a very noteworthy set of sanctions handed down by the NCAA.

Cade was a prospect that the Longhorns were heavily involved in during his recruitment. The Longhorns were part of the top 10 finalist schools for Cunningham before he announced his set commitment to the Big 12 foe Oklahoma State. The highlights of the other schools that Cunningham had his decision come down to included the Kentucky Wildcats, North Carolina Tar Heels, Florida Gators, and Washington Huskies, among others.

The other significant programs that sent Cunningham a scholarship offer included the Duke Blue Devils, Kansas Jayhawks, LSU Tigers, Texas A&M Aggies, and Virginia Cavaliers. He received just over a dozen scholarship offers in total.

Cunningham announced his commitment to Oklahoma State back in early November 2019, and signed his National Letter of Intent to play for the Pokes during the Early Signing Period roughly one week later.

This Arlington, TX, native ranked as the nation’s No. 1 2020 high school prospect in both the 247Sports Composite and the Top247. Rivals ranked him as the top high school prospect in the nation too, but ESPN had him as second behind five-star Prolific Prep guard Jalen Green.

However, the sanctions that were brought down earlier in the offseason on the Oklahoma State hoops program was assumed to cause Cade to take his talents elsewhere. There was this assumption that a program like UNC or Kentucky would get his services prior to the start of the 2020-21 season.

In an announcement on his Twitter timeline on June 22, Cunningham made it known that he will be keeping in Stillwater through at least his freshman season (and we should assume that would be it). Oklahoma State got a big win with this one.

According to the 247Sports Team Composite Rankings, the 2020 Oklahoma State recruiting class ranks at No. 11 in the nation and No. 2 in the Big 12. The only program in the Big 12 ahead of Oklahoma State is the Texas Tech Red Raiders.

Somehow Boynton was able to keep this recruiting class together for the Pokes. The likes of the Longhorns and Jayhawks are just two of the programs around the Big 12 that could be hurt by the retaining of Cunningham. Those two might’ve been able to get in the sweepstakes to land the commitment of Cade if he was granted a release from Oklahoma State after the postseason ban came down from the NCAA.

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The 2020 Texas recruiting class ranks at No. 94 in the nation, by only landing the commitment of five-star highly coveted Vandegrift power forward Greg Brown. At least head coach Shaka Smart was able to retain the commitment of Brown when it was all said and done.

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