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Oklahoma State’s Cade Cunningham to enter draft, probable #1 overall NBA pick

Feb 27, 2021; Norman, Oklahoma, USA; Oklahoma State’s Cade Cunningham (2) celebrates after a basket against the Oklahoma Sooners at the Lloyd Noble Center. Oklahoma State won in overtime 94-90. Mandatory Credit: Sarah Phipps/The Oklahoman via USA TODAY NETWORK

All-American Cade Cunningham announced Thursday he will enter the 2021 NBA Draft after one season at Oklahoma State.

The 6-foot-8 guard is expected to be a lottery pick but could wind up as high as the No. 1 overall selection in the July 29 draft.

In 27 games on the season, he averaged 20.1 points, 6.2 rebounds and 3.5 assists. He set a school record by winning the Big 12 Player of the Week award nine times.

Cunningham has won a myriad of postseason honors, including the Wayman Tisdale Award as the top freshman in college basketball. He was the fourth player in league history to earn both Big 12 Payer and Freshman of the Year honors in the same season.

His best outing of the season came on Feb. 27 at Oklahoma, when he scored 40 points on 12-of-21 shooting and added 11 rebounds. For the season, he shot 43.8 percent from the field and 40 percent from 3-point range.

Related: 2021 NBA mock draft – Top prospects, top landing spots

From Arlington, Texas, Cunningham was the No. 1 player in the Class of 2020, according to the 247Sports composite rankings.

His coach, Mike Boynton, had nothing but praise for him.

“He is a once-in-a-lifetime person, not just player, person,” Boynton said after the Cowboys’ loss to Oregon State in the second round of the NCAA Tournament. “For all the things that were possible in terms of his approach to this, I couldn’t have asked for better. He just wanted to be coached. He wanted to be challenged. He wanted to be put in position to have success. He wanted to do everything he could to help. It was never about his draft status, it was never about his points, it was never about anything that was personal. Everything he did every day was poured into our program. I hope he had as good of an experience playing as I did coaching him.”

Related: 50 Top NBA players of 2021 – Chris Paul back in the Top 10

–Field Level Media