Big 12 Basketball: 4 potential candidates for OK State to replace Mike Boynton

Will Wade
Will Wade / Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
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The first major shakeup on the Big 12 basketball coaching carousel this year saw the Oklahoma State Cowboys fire head coach Mike Boynton after seven seasons in Stillwater on March 14. The school officially announced the move on the morning of March 14.

"For seven years, Coach Boynton has led this program and represented this university with class. We're grateful for the genuine passion and care he has for the student-athletes on our team. Unfortunately, the desired results have not followed. Therefore, it is time to part ways and begin a new chapter. We wish Coach Boynton and his family the very best."

The news of the Boynton firing comes after the Pokes had a disappointing regular season, winning just 12 games (tied for the fewest for the program in the last three decades). Despite finding ample success on the recruiting trail during his time at Oklahoma State, the results on the court rarely seemed to follow.

Who will replace Mike Boynton at Oklahoma State in Big 12 basketball's first big job opening of 2024?

Boynton led Oklahoma State to the NCAA Tournament just one time in his seven seasons as the program's head coach. That one tournament appearance came when Oklahoma State was led by star guard Cade Cunningham in 2021.

Oklahoma State now begins a national coaching search for the first time in Stillwater since Brad Underwood left the Pokes for Illinois following the 2016-17 season.

Here are four potential coaching candidates for Oklahoma State to consider to replace Boynton.

Niko Medved, Colorado State head coach

Colorado State Rams head coach Niko Medved has built a reputation for himself of being able to rebuild mediocre Division 1 basketball programs. In the last decade in his time as a head coach, Medved has taken two programs to new heights through multi-year rebuild jobs.

Medved's first program rebuild came in the early-to-mid 2010s with the Furman Paladins. He took over a Furman squad that had won just seven games the year before he was hired in 2013. Medved methodically built a winner at Furman over the course of a few years, eventually eclipsing the 20-win mark and winning the Southern Conference regular season title in 2016-17.

Currently in his sixth season at Colorado State, Medved is on the brink of leading the Rams to a second NCAA Tournament appearance in the last three years. Colorado State got off to a fast start this season, getting ranked as high as No. 13 in the AP Poll at one point this season.

But Colorado State has struggled at times in Mountain West play, losing eight out of 18 contests to conference foes. Colorado State still has a shot to make a solid postseason run as it is projected to get a high single-digit seed in the NCAA Tournament.

It could appeal to the Oklahoma State administration and boosters that Medved has a strong track record of rehabilitating Division 1 programs that are stuck in a mediocre state. He also had strong showings against Quad 1 and 2 major conference foes, beating the Colorado Buffaloes, Washington Huskies, Creighton Blue Jays, and San Diego State Aztecs, among others this season.