Rewind to late March of 2017. Oklahoma State basketball fans found themselves down in the dumps. After Brad Underwood jumped ship for Illinois, Mike Holder named Mike Boynton the new head coach. Fans were not doing backflips over the hire, but they certainly are now. Holder looks smarter by the day.
It should go without saying that Mike Boynton has locked up Big 12 Coach of the Year honors. Below are this year’s résumés for each Big 12 coach.
Beard is one of the other leading candidates to be named Coach of the Year. His team is challenging almighty Kansas for a Big 12 Championship. To make Texas Tech a basketball school is a feat.
Dixon should have won the award last year after leading TCU to an NIT Championship in his first year; however, the award went to Bill Self. This year, his team lost one of its star players to the injury bug, and has been far from outstanding.
Drew’s Baylor Bears are certainly a force to be reckon with in the conference, but they certainly haven’t had enough signature wins. Plus, Drew is a seasoned veteran, and the award should be trending to the outstanding rookies.
While Huggins is a great basketball coach with many years under his belt, the Mountaineers, while brilliant at times, have also had some bad stretches. Not many of their wins have been resounding, and their losses have been due to lackluster performances.
Coach Krueger may have had the award in the bag in November. Last year’s Sooner team finished ninth in the conference. This year, he picked up a Wooden Award Candidate, and the Sooners may not make the NCAA Tournament this year.
With some good wins, Iowa State has been the most quiet team in the Big 12. Simple as that.
By Kansas, standards, Kansas is having a bad season. They have lost three games at home this year. Fans are lucky to see two losses at Allen Fieldhouse.
Smart might be a viable candidate for the award. The Longhorns, led by Smart and Mo Bamba faced immeasurable adversity when doctors diagnosed, Guard, Andrew Jones with leukemia. The team has barely missed a beat, and defeated their “Red River Rivals” twice this season.
K-State is another one of those quiet teams, that hasn’t done enough, to even consider, Weber for the award.
Award voters have every reason to award Boynton with coach of the year honors. The second youngest coach in America took the reins of Oklahoma State for his first head coaching job. The world then dealt Boynton with one of the worst hands in America. Boynton had to dismiss two players, and the associate head coach, before conference play even began. Boynton was forced to rally the OSU troops and get fans out to Gallagher-Iba. Since all the adversity, Boynton has shown nothing but poise, and has achieved a great deal of feats. The 36-year old has wins against Lon Krueger, Bill Self, Bob Huggins and Leonard Hamilton to his name. The Cowboys also have 3 wins against AP Top-Ten teams. The last time the Cowboys did that, 2004, they went to the Final Four. Oh, and they did that, this year, without spending a single week in the AP Top-25. Many have written off Boynton and the Cowboys all season long, but they continue to bounce back with plenty of signature wins to their name. Just last night, the Cowboys beat #6, Texas Tech, after a blowout loss to TCU. The Tech win was in front of, one of, if not the, smallest crowds of the season.
Mike Boynton is a tremendous coach who OSU fans are lucky to have. Mike Holder and the OSU Athletic department hit an absolute home-run with the hire.
Photo via OSU Athletics // okstate.com