Oklahoma was only expected to have three scholarships available for the 2015 recruiting, but that was before Frank Booker’s choice to transfer from the program and pending Buddy Hield’s NBA decision, which should come any day now.
The Sooners have at least one extra now.
With Christian James, Rashard Odomes and Akolda Manyang signed for the 2015 class and a pair of commits already for the 2016, Oklahoma will have the opportunity to make a move sooner rather than later.
The entire 2015 class signed during the early signing period in November, leaving Oklahoma with nothing expected to do for the rest of the season regarding this year’s class. Oklahoma coach Lon Kruger even said that the Sooners were done.
That was before Booker’s unexpected – albeit not too surprising – decision.
When asked after Booker’s transfer was announced, Kruger said that he doesn’t expect any new commitments during the one-month period after players can once again sign letters of intent on April 15.
The final day to sign men’s basketball letters of intent is on May 20.
“Signing day is a couple weeks from now,” Kruger said. “We don’t expect to do anything with that. If something comes open in the spring or summer, perhaps we’ll look at it. But we expect to go forward the following year at this point.”
Use it on a fourth signee in 2015 - If Oklahoma is going to go all-in late on any target, it would seem like Putnam City West (Okla.) guard Tyson Jolly would be that target.
Jolly, who hasn’t been offered from Oklahoma, announced his top five one day before Booker’s announcement. To no surprise, the Sooners weren’t included on the list that featured California, Gonzaga, Minnesota, SMU and UTEP.
He said this week that Oklahoma hasn't offered him and that the Sooners wouldn't be in consideration even if they did.
Jolly will visit Gonzaga, California and Minnesota before the final period ends, and it seems like he’s set with his decision. Jolly averaged 20 points and nine rebounds per game this season.
Expand the 2016 class - It was expected that the 2016 class, which already features a point guard and a wing/post combo player, would include four players.
The Sooners still seek a big man and a combo guard for the 2016 class, and they could add another. Four-star (N.J.) combo guard Temple Gibbs is visiting Norman in two weeks while Oklahoma still has a long list of offers on the table – at least 17 right now – for next year’s class.
Oklahoma could also look to re-add Mustang’s Jakolby Long, a sharp-shooting 6-foot-4 wing like Booker, back into the fold if it hopes to replace Booker directly with a nearby star who just won the 6-A state championship.
Hold on to it and wait for another scholarship whenever it might be - It’s not too likely, but Oklahoma could bag the scholarship for the future.
With a graduating class of four players next season, the Sooners will have a lot of holes to fill. They might try to stagger the wave of players.
What will Oklahoma do with it? - When Oklahoma lost Je’lon Hornbeak, it didn’t make a move to replace him quickly. Instead, with the deadline just days away last year, the Sooners waited and found an extra player for the 2015 class.
That’ll likely be the case this season, unless something changes drastically with Jolly, who visited Oklahoma during the season but never received an offer.
That won’t be a bad thing for the Sooners though. Oklahoma could very easily make another deep run in the tournament next year, spiking interest in some top-level talent.
Doubling down on a pair of post players - like this past class with Jamuni McNeace and Khadeem Lattin - might be the best option.