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Despite postseason ban, Cade Cunningham will remain at Oklahoma State

This falls outside the direct purview of the ACC, but it’s still significant college basketball news: Cade Cunningham, the No. 1 prospect in the 2020 class and the projected No. 1 pick in the 2021 NBA Draft, will remain committed to Oklahoma State.

Earlier this month, the Oklahoma State program was hit with a variety of punishments, including a postseason ban for the 2020-21 season. This created some intrigue as to what would happen with Cunningham: would he try to leave Oklahoma State?

The odds of that were low, but 6-foot-6 point guard, late in the game, could try to reopen his recruitment; Cunningham seemed like a prime candidate to try the new new NBA/G League development program. At the time, Oklahoma State head coach Mike Boynton stated that he would support Cunningham’s decision if he decided to pursue another route.

However, all of that speculation is now useless: Cunningham is still set for Stillwater.

Oklahoma State’s penalties come as a result of violations committed by former associate head coach. Lamont Evans, who was rolled up in the FBI’s investigation into colleges basketball. As a result, Evans was fired with cause in 2017. According to a decision released by the Division I Committee on Infractions, Evans violated NCAA “ethical conduct rules when he accepted between $18,150 and $22,000 in bribes from two financial advisors to influence student-athletes.”

Last fall, Cunningham picked Oklahoma State over a handful of other programs: North Carolina, Kentucky, Florida and Washington. Cunningham even took an official visit to UNC last fall (Sept. 27). Ultimately, Oklahoma State won out over Kentucky.

Oklahoma State can appeal the decision; however, there’s no guarantee that will work, as far as the postseason ban goes. The odds are unfortunately low for the Cowboys, in that regard.

As far as Cunningham goes, as a player, well, he’s special. A pick-and-roll savant, Cunningham is also a powerful finisher at the rim — which he showcased over a marvelous prep career at Montverde (Fla.) Academy and an electric international performance at last summer’s FIBA U19 Men’s World Cup, when he starred alongside FSU signee Scottie Barnes.

During his undefeated senior season with Montverde, Cunningham averaged 13.9 points, 6.4 assists and 4.2 rebounds per game.

 

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