His Cowboys return the fourth-most experience in the Big 12 this season.
Yes, a team with just three scholarship players from last season still on the roster.
“I’m thinking, ‘There’s no way,’” Boynton said of the stat. “‘How could we not even be 15th out of 14 teams?’ But that’s everybody. I thought we’d be in the bottom third but to be clearly in the first half is kind of the state of college athletics.
“It’s something we just have to adapt to. It’s not necessarily the ideal way to do college athletics in my view, but it’s the reality of what we’re dealing with now.”
And there is a harsh truth for OSU.
The Cowboys needed a reshaped roster.
“This is with a great deal of respect for all the young men who left the program — most of which graduated, so very proud of that — but we needed a reset,” Boynton said. “And it came at a really good time because there is a great opportunity out there to re-establish a foundation of what Oklahoma State basketball needs to look like.”
And just two days into official practices to open a crucial season, Boynton is pleased with the new direction of a team built on youth with a mix of veterans in key places.
Though, the changes did not exactly come easily.
Around a month after OSU’s disappointing season ended in the NIT Tournament, Boynton had a roster of Bryce Thompson, Quion Williams and John-Michael Wright.
“I don’t know if I want to play Stillwater High School,” Boynton said. “I think we’d be all right. But we only got three now.”
But a highly-touted freshman class arrived. So did veteran transfers Jarius Hicklen, Mike Marsh and Javon Small along with 7-foot-1 redshirt freshman Isaiah Miranda.
Boynton and the rest of his coaching staff also did a hard gutcheck.
“Part of the reset was us as a staff looking in the mirror and figuring out how we can be better, how we can challenge the team to maximize its ability,” Boynton said. “In all honesty, we know we fell short last year. We own that. I own that because it falls on my lap.
“We’re determined and vowing to get our program back to national prominence. This summer was really important to laying a foundation with a bunch of new guys that weren’t predisposed to anything in our program, really.
“It was really good just to reset the expectations.”
OSU released its complete schedule Tuesday along with the unveiling of the entire Big 12 schedule.
Among key dates for the Cowboys are another trip to Brooklyn on Nov. 16-17 against St. Bonaventure and either Auburn or Notre Dame, a Big East showdown with Creighton on Nov. 30 and a neutral site game in Oklahoma City’s Paycom Center against Tulsa.
“I think we found a schedule that’s going to be for this team,” Boynton said. “Challenging them in different ways, getting us away from here, we got a couple neutral sites.
“And then being able to maybe build some momentum at home. It’s one of the areas we’ve not done as well, in all honesty. We haven’t protected our homecourt in a way that we should be able to at this level.”