Evolution — a goal that Mike Boynton has preached all season has resonated especially well with Kalib Boone.
Boone added another impressive stat line to his resume Monday night in Oklahoma State’s 74-69 victory over Texas Tech, scoring 18 points and grabbing seven rebounds in 33 minutes.
His performance against Tech is yet another game in a recent trend of outings for the OSU big man.
“He was setting good screens and getting to the rim,” Boynton said. “In the second half, he stepped up and made some big rebounds.”
This isn’t new for Boone.
He’s dropped double digits in five of the last eight games, something only Cade Cunningham can best him at, including a career-high 22 points against Texas.
This season Boone has exhibited what Boynton calls “competitive stamina,” his fancy way of saying playing harder for longer, which Boone credits to this season’s success.
“Honestly, it’s just me playing hard,” Boone said. “These last few games, my success under the basket is just me playing hard and putting myself in a position to rebound.”
There were concerns about Boone’s size at the start of the season. He has the height at 6-foot-9, but his weight of 210 was worrisome when it came to boxing out much bigger players in the Big 12 for rebounds.
Yet Boone has made it work.
He grabbed a career-high 15 rebounds against Texas, 12 against Arkansas and seven tonight against Tech.
On the other end of the court, his blocking has gone up a level.
While only getting one tonight, his 1.4 season average leads the team.
He spent most of his defensive time guarding TTU’s Marcus Santos-Silva in the paint, who only scored eight points tonight.
“Boone’s evolution is really the thing that’s separated us the last couple weeks, he’s been rock solid on both ends of the floor,” Boynton said.
Boynton praised his ability to come up in the clutch, something that will be crucial come tournament time.
“We’ve always prided ourselves in getting better over the course of the season,” Boynton said. “His progress is evidence that we keep preaching that message.”