Hoops Recruiting: Four Questions

In a perfect world, the OSU basketball staff would have little to be concerned with as the April signing period approaches. Even though the Cowboys signed four players in the fall and are expecting another to sign next month, the OSU staff has plenty of work to do in the next two weeks. We try to answer four of the most pertinent questions about basketball recruiting as the signing period nears.

Who are OSU's top targets?
Sean Sutton and the Cowboy staff still has at the top of their list 5-10 point guard Jai Lucas, who played in Wednesday night's McDonald's All-American game. The brother of former Cowboy standout John Lucas III had been rumored to announce his decision during halftime of the McDonald's All-American game but all of that changed when Kentucky head coach Tubby Smith bolted for Minnesota last week. Now Lucas is saying he may wait until mid-April before making a decision. He has said for months that his four top choices are Oklahoma State, Kentucky, Oklahoma and Maryland.

The Cowboy staff has also targeted two junior college standouts – 6-8, 220-pound power forward Anthony Brown of Carl Albert Junior College in Poteau, Okla., and 6-5, 195-pound guard Brad Garrett of the College of Southern Idaho. The Cowboys would love to get Brown to solidify a front line in which they return only Kenny Cooper and Marcus Dove. He averaged 21.4 points (12th among all junior college players this past season) and nearly seven rebounds a game this past season for the Vikings. Garrett is a big-time shooter! He helped lead the College of Southern Idaho to a fourth-place finish in the National Junior College Athletic Association tournament last week in Hutchinson, Kans., and made 41.3 percent of his three-pointers this past season.

Do the Cowboys have any players scheduled to visit?
Yes, both Brown and Garrett are expected to visit Oklahoma State the same weekend – April 13-14. The Orange-White football scrimmage to conclude spring practice is scheduled for Saturday, April 14, and head football coach Mike Gundy is hoping that 30,000 Cowboy fans will invade Boone Pickens Stadium. Brown also is expected to visit Nevada (the weekend before coming to Stillwater) and Kansas State (after visiting OSU).

Who is Anthony Brown?
Brown averaged around 6 to 8 points per game as a high school senior in Brooklyn, N.Y., and was not highly recruited. He was thinking about going the prep school route but his mother wanted him in a college atmosphere and he eventually wound up at Carl Albert Junior College in Poteau, which he admits was culture shock for a teenager from Brooklyn. The Vikings had several standout post players a year ago, and Brown came off the bench as a freshman (averaging only a handful of points a game). The criticism of Brown had been that he was not committed to being a good player and good student. But he devoted himself to both in the past year, and became one of the best junior college post players in the nation and earned a 3.2 grade-point average this past fall. "I think the best thing about him is that he's just a fine person," says Carl Albert head coach Mike St. John.

Who is Brad Garrett?
Garrett is a freshman at the College of Southern Idaho (which was Eddie Sutton's first collegiate coaching job from 1966-69) but would be eligible to transfer immediately and have three years of eligibility. He is a little older and more mature than most freshmen in college having spent his previous two years on a Mormon mission. An outstanding shooter, Garrett was the leading scorer (15.8 points) for a team which averaged 105.7 points per game and had an average winning margin of +22.4 points. He also averaged 5.3 rebounds (third best on the team) and tied for second with 66 steals, all while playing just an average of 22.7 minutes per game.

Garrett attempted (242-to-183) and made more three-pointers (100-to-94) than he did two-point field goals this past season for the Golden Eagles, who finished 30-7. He shot 51.4 percent on two-point field goals, 41.3 percent from behind the three-point arc, and 72.7 percent from the foul line. Also, 83 of his 185 rebounds (44.9 percent) came on the offensive end of the court.

The sharp-shooter scored a career-high 33 points in Southern Idaho's 127-84 win over Colorado Northwestern Community College on Jan. 5. He was 13-of-26 shooting, including 5-of-11 from three-point range, on the night. The night night, in the second game against Colorado Northwestern, he recorded 28 points and nine rebounds in a 131-91 victory. Against Yavapai College on Nov. 17, he scored 24 points while making 7-of-11 three-pointers in just 23 minutes of play. The next night, against Eastern Wyoming College, Garrett finished with 26 points, six rebounds and three steals in 23 minutes of action.

Oklahoma State is not the only school interested in getting Garrett, as Illinois, USC, Oregon, UNLV, Oregon State, Texas A&M and BYU are among some of the others recruiting him.

Garrett, however, is not a point guard and will not play that position in major college, but he is the type of player that is too good to pass up if you get the opportunity to sign him.

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