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Being authentic: Mike Boynton's high-character valued by his players

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Cowboy Basketball First Official Practice

Image Taken At Cowboy Basketball First Official Practice, Gallagher-Iba Arena, Wednesday, October 14, 2020, Oklahoma State University, Stillwater, OK. Courtney Bay/OSU Athletics

Mike Boynton tries to authentically be himself every day, he’s always stuck to his morals. With that approach, he landed Oklahoma State its best recruiting class in over a decade.

Boynton is now entering his fourth season as the OSU men’s basketball team head coach. Since taking over the program in 2017, he has seen his recruiting rankings improve every season, and the current recruiting class is ranked No. 13 in the nation, the highest-rated OSU recruiting class since 2005.

“I think with what he’s been doing with us, it’s helped us out a whole lot,” freshman Cade Cunningham said. “You know the expectations are high for our freshman class and we’re trying to live up to it, so coming in and being able to produce right away is really important for us.”

Cunningham is the face of the freshman class, coming off a senior season in which he won multiple player of the year awards, including the 2020 Naismith High School Player of the Year Award, making him the first Cowboy to ever win the honor.

Alongside the highly-touted freshman class, Boynton has also brought in 22-year old graduate transfer Ferron Flavors Jr. from California Baptist University.

While they have had different paths to get to the Cowboys’ organization, Flavors still holds Boynton in high regard.

“What drew me to him is his honesty and the type of man that he is,” Flavors said. “ I wanted to make sure that whoever I went and played for was a genuine person first and foremost, and also somebody that I could trust off the court also. I wanted it to be a situation where I was able to build a relationship and I could call on this person 5-10 years down the road, and I know that person will have my back the same way as when I have a jersey on with them.”

Cunningham had similar things to say about Boynton being more than just a head coach, but someone that he can rely on.

“He’s available to us, and you don’t get that everywhere, trust me, you do not get that everywhere,” Cunningham said. “I can go to coach Boynton’s house 24/7, I can call him anytime, I can text him at any time, I have called and texted him at wild times, it’s not like I’m just saying it assuming that it’s possible for me, I know I can. Being able to have that as your head coach, you can’t really ask for anything more.”

Cunningham also cites his enjoyment of Boynton’s family being around the team regularly.

“He brings his kids around all the time, they’re like our little best friends, his wife is always around, so just having that it really brings a family atmosphere to us, and I can’t be more appreciative of it,” Cunningham said.

Boynton’s ability to create a one of a kind environment around his basketball program has been successful in bringing in recruits and has set a unique feeling around the organization.

“Coming here has definitely been, in my opinion, one of the best decisions that I have made in my life, and that’s also off the court, having the coaching staff and people around us that we have here, is something that I’ll cherish for the rest of my life,” Flavors said. “He’s just such a genuine guy”