What John-Michael Wright’s Commitment Means for Oklahoma State

After weeks (and weeks and weeks!) of chasing the recruiting trail, Mike Boynton and his team won a big one on Monday, securing a commitment from High Point transfer guard John-Michael Wright. A two-time All-Big South performer, Wright gives the Cowboys a much-needed presence at guard – OSU loses Isaac Likekele, Bryce Williams graduates and Avery Anderson tests the waters of the NBA draft – and as a 3-point shooter to boot.

Here’s what that means for the Pokes before 2022.

1. Boynton knocks in the transfer portal

With over 1,400 players on the transfer portal, there’s really no reason for OSU to panic over its 2022 roster even though it’s been lacking in substance for weeks (and weeks and weeks, remember ) and was slowly eviscerated through the portal. Unlike the era of portal chaos before the transfer, listings – and good ones! — can be deeply equated with spring and summer.

But missing out on some of the best transfers of recent weeks has made it seem like he was of the utmost importance to land a transfer to prove he can struggle in this arena. New time. Now OSU has one, and a good one at guard – a position of need, there probably isn’t any left.

Here’s the truth: The transfer market has been hit and miss in recent years since Boynton took over. Ferron Flavors was a puff, for example. And Jonathan Laurent comes to mind as someone who didn’t quite fit. But last year with Moussa Cissé and Bryce Thompson especially it was a big blow for the Pokes.

Here’s hoping that trend with Wright continues.

2. A lead guard

With Likekele leaving OSU, the most likekele Wright takes the lead guard spot at OSU, whether Avery Anderson stays at OSU or stays in the NBA draft. He made 85 starts at point guard with High Point in three seasons, including a career high two seasons ago when he had a 25.4% assist rate. For his career, he averaged 17.4 points and 2.9 assists per game.

He is not, however, a pass-first point guard. He is a natural goalscorer who can also pass. There is a difference. I think his style matches OSU given his different weapons in the backcourt, and I also think he has the talent to take over as a starting point, but his passing and creating abilities haven’t produces big attendance numbers and its attendance-to-revenue ratio wasn’t great either. My read on this: High Point’s talent isn’t close to what it will be paired with at OSU – hence the bet here from OSU staff that alongside major talent, those abilities will have a chance to flourish.

3. His role at OSU

OSU’s lineup last year looked like….

PG: Avery Anderson
SG: Rondel Walker
SF: Bryce Thompson
PF: Isaac Likekele
C: Moussa Cisse

My hunch is that for now, unless OSU adds another point guard, Wright will plug into the point guard position as a starter and push Avery into a more natural position off the ball.

Wright also profiles himself as someone who is interchangeable in this role. A career 34.6 percent 3-point shooter, he’s been someone who scores it deep at a respectable rate on very high volume. He won’t have the same use at OSU or the same attention given to him, which could allow him to be an even more effective scorer, although – especially next to Bryce Thompson and Avery Anderson – in a slightly lesser role.

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