Expectations weren’t very high for Mike Boynton entering his first season as Oklahoma State men’s basketball’s coach.
Fast forward to February, and he owns wins at Allen Fieldhouse and WVU Coliseum — two of the most hostile venues in the entire Big 12 Conference.
The Cowboys sit 15-10 overall and 7th in the Big 12 at a 5-7 mark in conference play. Of course, the league standings have been as crowded as ever towards the middle — with almost every Big 12 game turning into a dog-fight this season.
And for a first-year coach that is going up against some veteran counterparts such as Kansas’ Bill Self and West Virginia’s Bob Huggins, both of whom he has bested on the road, Boynton’s leadership in Stillwater, Okla. is impressive by all means.
So what’s the cause for the unexpected success — at least to some level?
Boynton, in an interview with CBS Sports’ Matt Norlander, said the lack of pressure for the Cowboys this season has aided the team in pulling off some stunning wins along the way — perhaps even providing a chip on his players’ shoulders.
“There was no expectation for this season, or on how we could do, because everyone thought I was going to suck as a coach,” — Mike Boynton
Boynton is the third coach at Oklahoma State in as many seasons. Brad Underwood replaced Travis Ford after eight seasons at Oklahoma State for the 2016-17 season, but left to take the job at Illinois following his first year in Stillwater. The Cowboys went 20-13 overall and 9-9 in-conference during Underwood’s lone season with the team.
Enter Boynton, who was promoted from his role as one of the team’s assistants during the 2016-17 campaign. He has led Oklahoma State to three marquee wins — road upsets over top-25 Kansas and West Virginia teams, and a signature home win over Oklahoma, who was ranked No. 4 in the nation at the time.
The Cowboys can boost their resume even more if they emerge victorious over Kansas State on Wednesday. Oklahoma State’s NCAA Tournament hopes are far from secured, but a solid finish to the regular season could propel the team back into March Madness for yet another year.
Regardless of the final outcome, Mike Boynton has done things that nobody thought he be able to accomplish on the hardwood this year. And that’s a promising thought for basketball fans in Stillwater.
The post Oklahoma State coach Mike Boynton: ‘Everyone thought I was going to suck’ appeared first on Diehards.