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Cade Cunningham discusses Oklahoma State’s hiring of his brother

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The No. 2 player in 2020 says his recruitment is still completely open, but is it really?

High School Basketball: Geico Nationals Catalina Fragoso-USA TODAY Sports

The Oklahoma State Cowboys announced on Tuesday that they were hiring Cannen Cunningham, a former administrative staff member from the Tulane Green Wave, to be their newest assistant coach.

Why should Kentucky fans care about this? Well, Cannen Cunningham just so happens to be the brother of the No. 2 player in the class of 2020 — Cade Cunningham.

Going into Tuesday, 83 percent of Cade’s Crystal Ball predictions had him headed for OSU. The Kentucky Wildcats were the early favorite to land the uber-talented, 6-7 guard, but the buzz around the Cowboys seemingly came out of nowhere once recruiting guru Evan Daniels logged a pick in favor of Mike Boynton’s squad.

Now, OSU currently holds 100 percent of Cunningham’s Crystal Ball and Rivals FutureCast predictions. It seems his recruitment is all but finished.

But why did OSU start garnering so much attention in this recruitment?

“Coach (Mike) Boynton is great. We have a good relationship,” Cunningham told Rivals.com. “He was the first coach to offer me whenever he was an assistant at Oklahoma State.”

Cunningham has had nothing but great things to say about the Cowboys and Boynton in recent weeks, and the hiring of his brother seems to have sealed the deal that he’ll be playing his (likely) one season in college in Stillwater.

However, Cade says that’s not the case, no matter how important his brother is to him.

“My recruitment is still completely open. I love my brother forever and that is obviously a big factor, but it doesn’t determine my recruitment. My brother has been my guy, I mean, he was the one that put the ball in my hands. He has been the guy that pretty much determines everything that I have been doing with my development and where I am now. He is my guy.”

While he’s happy his brother got the job, and he wanted him to get it, he said he won’t let that affect his recruitment. Cade wants to go to wherever is the best place for him. He also mentioned that the recruiting process will continue on the same timeline it is now and his brother’s hiring won’t speed up the process for him.

While I admire Cunningham trying to keep his options and mind open to other schools, I’d assume programs like UK aren’t going to waste their time continuing to recruit him. He’s extremely talented, and one of my two favorite players in the class, but regardless of his intentions, it looks like he’ll end up at OSU.

The other eight finalists for Cunningham are the Duke Blue Devils, Florida Gators, Kansas Jayhawks, Memphis Tigers, North Carolina Tar Heels, Texas Longhorns, Virginia Cavaliers, and Washington Huskies.

The Cats are in a great spot with several recruits in the 2020 class, including several guard and small forward prospects. While Cunningham is the best of them all, UK has recently been tabbed the leader in the recruitment of Jalen Green, who’s just one spot behind Cunningham in the rankings.

So, the Cats might miss out on Cunningham, but like John Calipari says, Kentucky will always eat.