No. 1 recruit Cade Cunningham explored other options but ultimately decided to stand by his commitment to Oklahoma State even after the program was banned from the 2020-21 postseason.
Cunningham investigated joining the NBA G League, considered other college options and vetted opportunities to play professionally overseas following the NCAA’s announcement this month that the Cowboys would be banned from the NCAA Tournament and all postseason play as a result of the national bribery scandal involving several top programs.
After a Twitter post including a short video and voiceover, Cunningham shared a video to his Instagram page with the caption “Unswerving in Allegiance.”
“Loyalty — it’s more than a word. It’s action,” he said. “It’s standing by the people you started with. It’s showing up even when times are hard. It’s believing in the people who always believed in you. It’s a commitment. Now more than ever, I’m loyal and true. I’m committed. Stillwater. Let’s work.”
North Carolina and Kentucky were among the other finalists Cunningham considered before announcing he’d play at Oklahoma State.
A 6-foot-6 guard with a solid jumper and good ball-handling skills, Cunningham is the first five-star recruit to land in Stillwater since Marcus Smart (now with the Boston Celtics).
Oklahoma State plans to fight the ban in an appeal of the NCAA infractions tied to former assistant coach Lamont Evans, who was fired in 2017 and later pleaded guilty to accepting bribes.
The Cowboys have the 11th-ranked 2020 recruiting class, per 247 Sports.