What if recruiting doesn't result in 20-21 being a tournament year?

I know the general expectation is that with a stellar recruiting class inbound, including the #1 player in the country, that OSU men’s basketball will be back on the tournament map next year, fighting for NCAA seeding rather than just a dance card. However, I can’t shake the feeling of looking at last year’s top recruits and their resulting team’s performances and be a little nervous about getting a little too quenched from the kool-aid this early.

  1. James Wiseman* - Memphis 21-10, 10-8 T5 in AAC, projected NIT 1 seed
  2. Anthony Edwards - Georgia 16-16, 5-13 13 in SEC, no tourney
  3. Isaiah Stewart - Washington 15-17, 5-13 12 in Pac-12, no tourney
  4. Cole Anthony - North Carolina 14-19, 6-14 T13 in ACC, no tourney
  5. RJ Hampton - N/A
  6. Vernon Carey - Duke 25-6, 15-5 T2 in ACC, projected NCAA 3 seed
  7. Scottie Lewis - Florida 19-12, 11-7 T4, in SEC, projected NCAA 9 seed
  8. Jaden McDaniels - Washington see above
  9. Nico Mannion - Arizona 21-11, 10-8 T5 in Pac-12, projected NCAA 7 seed
  10. Tyrese Maxey - Kentucky 25-6, 15-3 1 in SEC, projected NCAA 2 seed
  11. Kahlil Whitney - Kentucky

What’s really making me anxious is it seems OSU compares much more with the Washington’s and Georgia’s of this list than the UNC’s, Duke’s, Arizona’s, and Kentucky’s as far as recent basketball success and the dependence on one particular recruiting class to lift expectations and results. I also admit not all 5-stars and elite recruits are created equal, and 1 transcendent player can make the difference in a given year. It’s just I know I’ve caught myself getting really excited about next year and if we don’t get the results we expect, namely making the NCAA tournament and even winning a game, where do we go from there?

That is excellent research, so kudos. I am also overly excited about next season. I was in school when we were supposed to be getting the number 1 recruiting class in the country, but Gerald Green and Keith Brumbaugh, the two highest recruits, never played a game for us. Roderick Flemming and Kenneth Cooper transferred after a season. That left Byron Eaton and Terrel Harris who were solid but didn’t accomplish much as a program.

That being said, this team had a really solid freshman group this year and two sophomores that have started for two seasons. If Cade Cunningham is equal to Jarret Culver (Tech) then we will be in great shape to contend for the conference. The guys needs to gel and work hard and of course, we know we need some guys to be efficient from 3, but I think this will be a tournament team at worst and a conference champion Elite 8 team probably at best.

I saw we were projected as 8-seed for the tournament for next and I asked the question if people would be ok with that. It did feel like we could have made the tournament this year had ICE stayed healthy. Probably not a great seed but we would have made it.

Returners like Ice, Kalib, Yor, and Anderson I have good faith in. I am hopeful Harris and Keylan can make steps for next year. Flavors can be important because he’s just older. It will be important that Boynton does what we need to do to win, not just showcase Cunningham.


This is a great question. Thanks for all the research you put into as well @ryan23.

What is an appropriate expectation for next year? Every year I find myself drinking the orange kool-aid a bit too much about the new guys. This year’s freshman class is a great example, some pretty highly rated guys who seemed like they struggled a bit initially. Several of them turned out to have solid seasons by the end, but it took a while for them to adjust it seems.

Aside from Cade I wonder if any of these guys are ready to contribute in a meaningful way at the beginning of the season. Seems like maybe Moncrieffe, but I’m cautiously optimistic about the others.

Also, had this awful thought today. What if the season can’t take place due to COVID and we never see Cade play for OSU? :sob: