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‘We always recruit’: Boynton looking to fill remaining scholarship

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NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament - First Round

INDIANAPOLIS, IN - MARCH 19: Isaac Likekele #13 of the Oklahoma Cowboys puts the ball up over Keegan McDowell #20 of the Liberty Flames in the first round of the 2021 NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Tournament held at Indiana Farmers Coliseum on March 19, 2021 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Josh Duplechian/NCAA Photos via Getty Images)

The Oklahoma State men's basketball team has no freshmen on roster. 

As the offseason pushes on, the Cowboys have one remaining scholarship left unused for the 2021 cycle.

As for what coach Mike Boynton plans to do with that scholarship, it wouldn’t change if he didn’t have that scholarship. The Cowboys have been in the conversations for a couple of transfers still seeking a new home, but as July approaches no filler has been found.

"We always recruit. If we didn't have a scholarship to fill right now, we would be recruiting, because you just don't know,” Boynton said. “You know less now than ever before.

“I don't feel like I have to fill it, but if the right type of player is available we'll certainly look at it.”

However, the nature of recruiting and college athletics is changing due to the transfer portal in the NCAA. The Cowboys have made good use of the portal, bringing in three recruits this cycle instead of freshmen.

The ever-looming figurative portal overshadows rosters, leaving coaches with the uncertainty of what their rosters will look like at any given time.

“There was a time when I first got into coaching where probably by April, end of April, you felt pretty good. This was your roster, and you knew, 'Alright, I got three sophomores and two juniors, my senior class...' There's no class balance with the transfer portal and all that stuff,” Boynton said.

Boynton and his signature shoes are now on the trail of the 2022 recruiting class in addition to the final 2021 spot. The Cowboys hosted five-star and No. 6 in the class Keyonte George for an official visit Sunday.

“We'll be our normal aggressive selves, but the new staff asked like, 'Coach, how many scholarships do we have next year?' The magic question. Just got to get to 13 by next year. Between the portal and seeing '22 guys for the first time in a year, it's going to be a different look to the recruiting cycle this year,” Boynton said.

One major thing could hold the Cowboys coaching staff back from recruiting as hard as normal: the NCAA.

The Cowboys still have not heard a ruling on its appeal of penalties, which includes a loss of scholarships. The Cowboys on top of not knowing its penalties also could have just one open scholarship for 2022 or up to four depending on non-seniors' decisions to stay or leave.

Bryce Williams will be done after the 2021-22 season, but his scholarship doesn’t count, which makes Isaac Likekele the only countable senior on the Cowboys roster. However, others could decide to head to the NBA after this season, depending on their success.

“We could have quite a bit of turnover,” Boynton said. “We could be looking at three or four guys. Just try to be good this year and if they're all good enough to go, that means we had a pretty good team.”