Five-star recruit Cade Cunningham, the No. 1 prospect in the Class of 2020 and the early frontrunner to be the No. 1 pick in the 2021 NBA Draft, announced Monday that he will stick with his Oklahoma State commitment and ride out uncertain times in Stillwater, Oklahoma, next season. Cunningham's affirmation in an Instagram post comes on the heels of an NCAA Committee on Infractions decision two weeks ago that banned the Cowboys from participating in the postseason, a ruling OSU plans to vociferously fight.
The NCAA Committee on Infractions ruling thrust Cunningham's allegiance -- and that of OSU's incoming recruit class and current roster -- into a precarious position. Would the future potential No. 1 pick want to play for a team serving a postseason ban? Would the G League score another blue-chipper?
But Cunningham ultimately chose to stay put, ensuring the entire incoming class will do the same; every other signee has already affirmed their OSU commitments in recent days, leading to the big domino falling Monday with the crown jewel of the class. Thus far only two current players, Yor Anei and Hidde Roessink, have announced their intent to transfer.
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It wasn't for a lack of options that Cunningham stuck it out, either. During Cunningham's initial recruitment process, Kentucky, North Carolina and a host of top-tier programs pursued. So did the G League. This time around everything was on the table, and again he chose the Cowboys.
"We're gonna try to look at all the options, whatever they are: G League, overseas, transfer to another school, stay at Oklahoma State," OSU coach Mike Boynton said two weeks ago of Cunningham, who he's developed a bond with and who he twice won over in the recruitment process. Cunningham's older brother, Cannen, also serves on Boynton's coaching staff as an assistant.
Cunningham headlines an 11th-ranked incoming OSU recruiting class that includes graduate transfer sharpshooter Ferron Flavors and four-star forward Matthew-Alexander Moncrieffe, the top recruit from Canada. And now he's part of an Oklahoma State roster that could be a contender to win the Big 12 next season, yet for now remains ineligible to participate in the postseason.