Name: Mike Boynton
Current job: Head Coach Oklahoma State
Previous jobs: Assistant Oklahoma State, Assistant Stephen F. Austin, Assistant South Carolina, Associate HC Wofford, Assistant Coastal Carolina
Career head coaching record (conference record): 33-35 (13-23)
NCAA Tournament Appearances (record): n/a
Evidence of recruiting skills: His most recent class praised him as a recruiter. His current class is ranked 23 nationally by 247 Sports.
Items of interest: Played in high school at Bishop Loughlin High School. That’s right, he’s from Brooklyn. Said to have good relationships nationally with high school level coaches. Played for Dave Odom at South Carolina. Coached under Mike Young, formerly of Wofford, and under Brad Underwood at Stephen F. Austin and Oklahoma State.
An injury derailed his pro career and he went straight into coaching after a 4-year career at South Carolina.
Read the Oklahoman for more on his history in his own words, and his journey, which is inspiring.
On court: Let’s toss out last season for a bit. It’s relevant, but clearly Boynton put his faith in a set of players who did not work out and were dismissed after a vandalism incident, leaving the team very shorthanded.
So his one year as the head coach at Oklahoma State led to a 21-15 record, a 2-seed in the NIT, two wins in the NIT, and perhaps some questions.
As a coaching profile, it seems that the Cowboys used their depth and tried to play fast, but also allowed opponents to score quickly, as Oklahoma State went for steals, but also ended up fouling a lot and not rebounding on the defensive end.
On offense, Oklahoma State crashed the glass and got to the free throw line. They were not three-point shot focused — they had a lot of height to work with — but shot well from deep.
They did beat Kansas at Kansas, Iowa State at Iowa State, and Kansas again at home. That’s not nothing.
Why he’d be a good fit: He’s a Brooklyn guy, has coached in other places under excellent coaches who get a lot out of their players.
Why it wouldn’t work: We need to mention that this year’s Cowboy team was an implosion. Three players were kicked of of the team for a set of incidents, including a pair St. John’s looked at (Michael Weathers and Maurice Calloo). The Cowboys played shorthanded for much of the Big 12 season.
The price might be manageable, but we do not know about the buyout. Boynton makes under $2M/ year at Oklahoma State, but the Cowboys have deep pockets, and he is signed until 2023 — meaning there will likely be a high buyout.
What’s getting in the way: If Oklahoma State wants him, they’ll just give him a raise. He might be a hard sell to some of the fans and alumni.
Final word: Probably not. But we’re thinking creatively here; and we think Boynton would be surprisingly good, someone to rally around at St. John’s.