Yesterday was the first day of the early signing period for basketball prospects wishing to sign their national letters of intent. While many schools across the country have put out press releases detailing their recruiting class, Oklahoma State and Travis Ford are still waiting to formally announce the newest set of recruits.
Most likely, the Cowboys are waiting on the signed LOI of Markel Brown who is expected to sign today. The other three members of the OSU class – Michael Cobbins, J.P. Olukemi and Brian Williams – all sent in their paperwork on Wednesday so the official announcement is merely a formality at this point.
With that in mind, we take a closer look at the class and what some of basketball's top recruiting experts have to say about it.
The Future Cowboys
Markel Brown- When he committed, the 6-foot-3 guard was little known outside of his home state of Louisiana. Thanks to some exposure on the summer basketball circuit, the wildly athletic Brown is now ranked among Scout.com's top 100 players in the country. Because of his size and ability to handle the ball, Brown will arrive in Stillwater as a versatile guy capable of manning multiple spots in the backcourt. He's a guy that will be good for several highlight plays because of his springs, but his quickness and long reach could enable him to develop into a big time defender during his college career.
Michael Cobbins- Ranked #51 in the country by Scout.com, the 6-foot-8 Cobbins is exactly what the Cowboys are looking for in a power forward. Long, lean, intelligent and capable of running the floor like a guard, he oozes upside and potential. A high energy guy who crashes the board and runs in transition for dunks, he'll also block some shots. Despite being known as more of an energy guy earlier in his career, Cobbins has really worked on his skill level and has become a viable threat stepping out and facing the basket to 15 feet. His summer ending knee injury looks to be behind him and he's full speed ahead.
J.P. Olukemi- It's been a long and winding road for Olukemi has he's made his way from high school, to prep school, to junior college and now finally on to Oklahoma State. He's chiseled swing player capable of playing as a physical small forward or an undersized, but quick and tough, power forward. Because of his age and experience, he'll arrive on campus ready to go from a physical and mental standpoint. He isn't the biggest threat from behind the three point line, but he will attack the rim and plays with a relentless, attacking style.
Brian Williams- If there's a mystery man in the Cowboys recruiting haul, Williams would be him. A 6-foot4 wing with plenty of athletic ability, he's not had many chances to perform in front of scouts. When he has, his playing time has been somewhat limited. His athletic ability suggests that he'll be an excellent fit for the Cowboys up and down style, but outside of that it's not easy to detail exactly what type of player he is.
What The Experts Are Saying
Dave Telep, Scout.com- "I like Oklahoma State's class overall should two things play out well. First, Michael Cobbins' knee has to make a good recovery and second, Olukemi has to come into the program ready to make an immediate mark."
Evan Daniels, Scout.com- "OSU certainly put together a strong group and really will up their athleticism on the wings with the additions of Markel Brown and Brian Williams. Michael Cobbins was a big pick up too. He's a mobile, lengthy big man with a high ceiling."
Rob Harrington, PrepStars.com/USA Today- "Cobbins is the player who excites most at OSU. He's not only a good talent, but he plays with a consistent, workmanlike style that will give the team someone to build around. The question for me is to observe how the wings develop. Olukemi is a solid stopgap and someone I thought was overlooked in high school, but the high school wings need to step up to support Cobbins inside."