Coach Mike Boynton almost didn’t get a final to Canada visit to recruit Matthew-Alexander Moncreiffe.
But that one last gast made all the difference,
In February, Boynton and assistant coach Erik Pastrana were on one of the final flights out of the country before COVID-19 shut down air travel.
They ended up making it to Mocreffe’s game and Boynton said he thinks that the visit was what sealed the deal of his recruitment.
“We went to see his coaches at his school, met with his mentors and sat down with him after one of his games,” Boynton said. “His recruitment was obviously a late one, but it was one that we had a lot of chances to evaluate where he would fit. Quite honestly, we just didn’t feel like we had anybody quite like him and still he’s really unique for our roster with his skillset, his athleticism and his size.”
Moncreiffe said OSU was one of the latest schools to offer him, but his whole process happened late in the cycle. Despite OSU getting into the process late, he still saw his future in Stillwater.
“I probably got in contact with them maybe in September (2019), right when my season started,” Moncreiffe said. “It was just an instant fit from a personal standpoint and with what I could come in and do. It was just a perfect fit.”
Moncrieffe is from Toronto and now lives in Stillwater, which is a big adjustment for most but not for him.
“I’m on campus and it’s quiet for the most part, but I’d say Stillwater and Oklahoma as a whole has a more country feel to it,” Moncreiffe said. “Not in a big city always. Where I went to school, it was kind of locked away from everything, like how it is here. I could be locked away or be wherever, I like that opportunity to focus on your craft because that’s important.”
Moncreiffe was ranked as the No. 1 in Canada in his class, but he doesn’t carry himself like someone who has a lot of hype with him.
“When I first got here, you think guys with a lot of clout are going to be arrogant and stuff but he’s real humble,” guard Bryce Williams said. “From the first time I saw him, he plays like him. He’s going to get to the cup, he’s going to dish the ball, play defense, protect the rim and get rebounds.”
Moncrieffe has grown a lot in the short time he’s been on campus, especially in his defensive presence and conditioning.
He said he’s seen his knowledge of the game grow into the college game.
“He comes in the gym and spends extra time, he’s got a maturity about himself that you don’t usually see from freshman,” Boynton said. “When you leave home and go to a prep school at 14 years old and stay there for three years, you have no choice but to grow up.”