Big 12 Previews: Oklahoma State and Oklahoma

Posted by Brian Goodman on October 17th, 2018

With games starting in just a few weeks, we’re tipping off our 2018-19 Big 12 coverage by going around the league team-by-team. Be sure to check in throughout the season and follow Big 12 correspondent Brian Goodman on Twitter @BSGoodman. Let’s begin with the Oklahoma schools. 

Oklahoma State

Mike Boynton turned in a surprisingly strong debut season in 2017-18, leading the Cowboys to 21 wins that were highlighted by a regular season sweep of Kansas, a win over West Virginia in Morgantown, and a victory over an excellent Texas Tech team. The work for Boynton truly begins this year, though, as he looks to rebuild a squad that lost its best players as well as the majority of its complementary pieces.

Oklahoma State head coach Mike Boynton will look to fire up a lackluster Cowboys squad in 2018-19. (Sue Ogrocki/AP)

Who’s Gone:

  • F Jeffrey Carroll: 15.4 PPG, 6.2 RPG, 33% 3FG
  • F Mitchell Solomon: 8.5 PPG, 6.5 RPG, 14.2% OR (best in the Big 12)
  • G Kendall Smith: 13.1 PPG, 41.0% 3FG (47.3% in Big 12 play)
  • G Tavarius Shine: 9.7 PPG, 3.5 RPG
  • C Yankuba Sima: 3.7 PPG, 3.3 RPG, 1.1 BPG

Who’s Back:

  • G Lindy Waters: 8.7 PPG, 3.7 RPG, 37.3% 3FG, 57.5% TS
  • F Cameron McGriff: 8.4 PPG, 5.4 RPG, 86.5% FT
  • G Thomas Dziagwa: 30 GS, 37% 3FG, 19.4 points per 40 minutes

Who’s Coming In:

  • G Michael Weathers (transfer from Miami, OH): 16.7 PPG, 77.7% FT, 4.8 APG, 1.9 SPG
  • G Curtis Jones (transfer from Indiana; eligible at midseason): 3.0 PPG, former top-100 recruit
  • F Maurice Calloo (three-star recruit)
  • G Isaac Likekele (three-star recruit)
  • F Yor Anei (three-star recruit)
  • F Duncan Demuth (three-star recruit)
  • C Kentravious Jones (three-star recruit)

Outlook: Roster turnover is the name of the game in Stillwater. In addition to the losses of Carroll, Solomon and Smith, the Cowboys also lost Yankuba Sima and Tavarius Shine to pro careers and Brandon Averette and Lucas N’Guessan to transfer. Weathers and Jones are interesting transfers, although the former’s availability is a question mark after he was suspended following charges of felony grand larceny and concealing stolen property. Add it all up and there are just three players on the roster who played together last season, which may not be the worst thing in the world as that roster just wasn’t that talented to begin with. This year’s personnel doesn’t figure to be much better than that one, but the Cowboys did get some extra reps in by going on a 10-day trip to Europe over the summer. However, that won’t be enough for a very inexperienced group to stave off last place in the nation’s toughest conference.

Oklahoma

The Sooners spent last season in the spotlight as Trae Young exploded onto the national scene before sputtering in shouldering so much of the load. Young’s loss, while expected, will still hurt. Although most of the roster will remain intact, the Sooners figure to fade back into the Big 12 periphery this season. We saw how overmatched the supporting cast was when the superstar freshman needed a breather or someone else to pick him up last season, and although Lon Kruger reeled in some pieces from the transfer market, he’ll mostly be counting on improvement from the role players to stem the tide until a top-10 recruiting class matriculates next fall.

The Oklahoma Sooners will struggle to stay competitive with Trae Young no longer on the roster. (Brett Deering/Getty)

Who’s Gone:

  • G Trae Young: 27.4 PPG, 8.7 APG, 36.0% 3FG, 86.1% FT, 1.7 SPG
  • C Khadeem Lattin: 6.6 PPG, 5.9 RPG, 1.9 BPG

Who’s Back:

  • G Christian James: 11.9 PPG, 4.4 RPG, 36.5% 3FG
  • F Brady Manek: 10.2 PPG, 5.2 RPG, 38.3% 3FG
  • F Rashard Odomes: 7.2 PPG, 3.5 RPG
  • F Jamuni McNeace: 6.8 PPG, 1.4 BPG

Who’s Coming In:

  • G Aaron Calixte (graduate transfer from Maine): 16.9 PPG, 3.2 APG, 89.9% FT
  • G Miles Reynolds (graduate transfer from Pacific): 13.3 PPG, 65.8% FTR, 80.2% FT
  • G Jamal Bienemy (4-star recruit)

Outlook: The Sooners lost their best offensive and best defensive players from last season and didn’t do much to fill their spots. Kameron McGusty would have been a prime candidate to keep the Sooners competitive on offense after averaging 17.9 points per 40 minutes of action last year, but he has since transferred to Miami. Down low, Jamuni McNeace showed enough promise to crack the starting lineup heading into the postseason, but there won’t be much size alongside him in the post. While there’s a decent amount of continuity on this club despite the Sooners’ departures, it’s easy to see this team having trouble establishing itself through an intense non-conference schedule that includes the Battle 4 Atlantis plus tilts against Notre Dame, Wichita State, USC, Creighton and Northwestern. Kruger is one of the best coaches around but this group seems destined for a bottom-three Big 12 finish.

Brian Goodman (972 Posts)

Brian Goodman a Big 12 microsite writer. You can follow him on Twitter @BSGoodman.


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