Cade Cunningham is possibly the most talented freshman in the NCAA College Basketball pool right now. However, his Oklahoma State University Cowboys haven’t been receiving a lot of love in the national polls.
The rankings are merely transient and change every week. We have already seen teams like Virginia drop 11 spots in the ranking after one week (4 to 15). But being in the poll is recognition of a team’s success in that season, and something teams aspire for.
Despite not being in a very glamorous program, Cunningham is bringing eyeballs to The OSU Cowboys. His strong start to the season has further boosted the team’s prospects.
But the ultimate question remains. Can Cunningham power the team into the Top 25?
Even though college success isn’t necessarily the stick, you will be judged against, it is always nice to have something to show. We have seen former number one overall picks like Anthony Davis and Karl-Anthony Towns become champions before they were selected in the draft.
Cunningham doesn’t even a championship to be drafted number one. We just saw Anthony Edwards get drafted with the first pick on raw talent alone. However, Cunningham is more than just a project. He is averaging 18.5 points after the first four games of the season on efficient 50% and 46.2% from three shooting splits.
With the solid roster around him and wins over teams like the Marquette Golden Eagles (who just beat the ranked Wisconsin Badgers), OSU looks quite potent. However, they will get more recognition if their performances hold up against some bigger names in the poll. They are yet to face a ranked opponent, with their earliest scheduled ranked match coming end of December, which will start a three-game stretch of ranked opponents.
Cade is wildly talented and can change games based on his play with the ball. But can he do it at a consistent level to help OSU build off their early season success? We will have to wait and watch.