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UK likely to be “front and center” for Cade Cunningham after Oklahoma State’s postseason ban

(Steven Ryan | Getty)

(Steven Ryan | Getty)

The Men’s Basketball program at Oklahoma State was hit with a Level I violation on Friday that resulted in a ban from the 2020-21 postseason. Why does this matter on a Kentucky fan website? Because the nation’s top incoming freshman, Cade Cunningham, who was once considered a Wildcat lean, can no longer compete in the upcoming NCAA Tournament.

Cunningham is now expected to explore other options, but whether or not he’ll consider John Calipari and Kentucky again is unknown at this time. He has not said one way or another quite yet. However, UK is suspected to be “front and center” for Cunningham, according to CBS Sports‘ Gary Parrish.

“His brother is on staff, that probably matters, some,” Parrish said regarding Cunningham remaining at Oklahoma State, “but I promise you, every school that was in there before he signed with Oklahoma State, they’ll be back in there right now. Kentucky probably front and center.”

Cunningham was once considering North Carolina, Florida, Washington, and the G League along with UK before he landed at OSU. He was widely recognized as the top overall recruit in the class of 2020 and is seen as the most likely candidate for the No. 1 overall pick in the 2021 NBA Draft.

Cowboys head coach Mike Boynton has already come out and publicly addressed the situation, stating that he will support Cunningham’s decision “100 percent”.

“I’ll tell you what I told him — I didn’t spend four years recruiting him and telling him how much I care about him to now abandon what’s important,” Boynton said on a conference call with reporters, according to 247 Sports. “We’re gonna have conversations over the next few days, probably weeks, and we’re gonna try to look at all the options, whatever they are. G-League, overseas, another university, stay at Oklahoma State. At the end of the day, whatever his family and he decide is best for his future, I’m gonna get right in tow with that and I’m going to support him 100 percent.”

Kentucky hauled in the nation’s top recruiting class for 2020, highlighted by BJ Boston (No. 4) and Terrence Clarke (No. 7). While it’s still unlikely, finding a way to move Cunningham to Lexington would put the ‘Cats over the top, especially if Olivier Sarr earns immediate eligibility.

Oklahoma State will appeal the NCAA’s ruling.

Article written by Zack Geoghegan

Covering all things NBA and UK Hoops. Follow me on Twitter: @ZGeogheganKSR

22 Comments for UK likely to be “front and center” for Cade Cunningham after Oklahoma State’s postseason ban

  1. DelrayCat
    3:16 pm June 7, 2020 Permalink

    I’d rather have Mintz as starting PG next year…..LOL….just kidding.
    So 3 potential top 10 picks on next years team? Wow…just wow. That would be fun.

  2. IrishCat
    3:26 pm June 7, 2020 Permalink

    I’m going to feel really bad for Mintz if this happens, but damn will I be excited about that lineup!

  3. woodson_to_johnson
    3:34 pm June 7, 2020 Permalink

    I won’t get my hopes up. He’ll either stick with his brother or go to the G League

  4. UKFanSC
    3:50 pm June 7, 2020 Permalink

    Are there enough minutes to accommodate a guy like this ? Maybe a better question, does that even matter for a guy like this ?

    • Han
      3:59 pm June 7, 2020 Permalink

      Cunningham and Kuminga are guys you take. Period.

      Cal has recruited them for a long time, so it’s not like he sees them as character issues. Though to be fair, he still gets guys who end up not fitting in (the last several transfers out being prime examples). It’s also possible something in the meeting his dad called did rub Cal wrong, but it could be as simple as them just wanting a promise Cade would start or he’d go play for his brother.

  5. JT55
    3:59 pm June 7, 2020 Permalink

    0 chance he comes here.

    • Bluehender
      6:50 am June 8, 2020 Permalink

      Lol…you hope he doesn’t

  6. lexattorney
    4:10 pm June 7, 2020 Permalink

    It’s a no from me, dog! UK already has a boatload of guards and I could see this REALLY messing with team morale and chemistry since it would essentially be a situation of recruiting over the players who committed to only Kentucky.

    • UKFanSC
      4:31 pm June 7, 2020 Permalink

      Not that we’ll be fortunate enough to actually wrestle with this dilemma, but a team of:

      PG Cunningham
      SG Boston
      SF Clarke
      PF Brooks
      C Sarr

      Would be absurd…… not to mention our second team.

  7. Aar
    4:35 pm June 7, 2020 Permalink

    I’m of the opinion that you don’t want a player who chooses you as a second option. Add to the the backcourt chemistry that is already building in California and I get hesitant about adding Cunningham to the mix. Cal will make the best decision about pursuing Cunningham. I would highly value the input of the players who are already committed.

    • T-Town Cat
      5:25 pm June 7, 2020 Permalink

      Agree. He had his opportunity to sign with UK, strung us out until the final minute, then made us just another “hat on the table”.

    • Cletis75
      7:08 pm June 7, 2020 Permalink

      Never be upset with someone that sides with family over you. That’s why you never make a girl choose between you and her family. He didn’t choose OSU over UK, he chose what was best for his family at the time. Quit acting like a bunch of jilted lovers. If he chose the cats first, the OSU staff likely would have been fired. Then his brother likely out of a job. Let’s see if anyone else offers his brother a job in the next couple of weeks.

  8. Ipeeblue
    7:37 pm June 7, 2020 Permalink

    I hope he goes to Louisville, they need a good point guard or even with awesome Coach K at Duke, he’s a super coach!!!

  9. mrknowitall1981
    10:31 pm June 7, 2020 Permalink

    I’m not drinking the kool aid this time with this kid. Good luck to him and wherever he decides. If I’m guessing, he takes the 500k and spends 5-6 months in the G league.

  10. chris43
    1:25 am June 8, 2020 Permalink

    Would gladly take him (as long as our current players were fine with it) but I’d say he’s G League bound.

    • UKinIN
      8:36 am June 8, 2020 Permalink

      We’ve heard stories about Calipari asking the team if he should recruit a player but we have no way of knowing if that’s true or just a PR move. Having a kid of my own that’s just out of high school I would expect Cunningham to stay at OK State or leave for the G League unless he has really tight friendships already with players at another school. Can’t see a kid that young wanting to start all over at a new school where the players have had time to become friends.

  11. Dark Soul
    7:57 am June 8, 2020 Permalink

    He is going to the G league and will be a top 3 pick. He is going high regardless. I think it would be crazy for him to not take the money. CBB needs to find a way to let the players earn or we will keep losing them to the G League.

    • Corder
      1:22 pm June 8, 2020 Permalink

      Four kids went to the g league this year and most were not top level talent when it comes to draft picks. Might want to slow up on the G league is going to take all these recruits from college because college still has a stage to grow your brand. The money these kids will actually get after taxes and fees is not that much and after those six months they stay in there most if not all of that money will be gone.

    • Corder
      1:24 pm June 8, 2020 Permalink

      Also not every kid is getting the max of $500,000. Some will but most will get more like the others got witch is $100,000. Once agin when all is said and done that ain’t much when it is chopped up.

  12. michaelb
    7:17 pm June 8, 2020 Permalink

    Here we go with this stuff again . Just have someone kick u in the nuts . That’s what following recruiting feels like . I don’t wanna read about the roster till bbm

  13. King_tucky
    2:40 am June 9, 2020 Permalink

    G league….he gone!!