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Oklahoma basketball: Sooner men lose another player to transfer portal

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Rebuilding a squad for the 2024–25 season continues to be one step forward and two steps back for men’s basketball at Oklahoma.

The Sooners lost seven players off their roster from the previous campaign, and they have only gained three transfers and two prospects from 2024 to make up for the losses.

Is there a problem with the water or is there a serious issue with the Oklahoma men’s program? The transfer portal has virtually eradicated the term “stability” from the lexicon of collegiate sports, as we have documented on multiple occasions over the last few years. And nowhere is college basketball more affected by it than here.

The Sooners have lost eight players who will not be on the roster for the 2023–24 season since their final game about two months ago. Porter Moser, who is about to begin his fourth season as the OU men’s team’s coach, has seen something similar every season he has been in Norman. But the departures this offseason might be the worst yet, and it might not be done yet.

Kaden Cooper, a sophomore guard, was the most recent to go, as of this week. Cooper, a four-star prospect and a product of Ada, Oklahoma, was a member of OU’s 2023 recruiting class. Moser saw him as a tremendous pickup because he turned down offers from Kansas, UConn, Alabama, Texas, and LSU in favor of Oklahoma.

This past season, the 6-foot-5-inch small forward averaged 1.5 points per game while playing in just 15 games. He played for almost five minutes a night on average and made 46.7 percent of his field goals and 50% of his three-pointers.

Ranking as high as sixth in Oklahoma and sixty-sixth overall, Cooper was a standout prospect when he committed to OU right out of high school. In the upcoming season, Cooper was predicted to see a significant increase in playing time. That will now happen with a different school.

Every season since he joined Oklahoma, Moser has had to replace six or seven players on average because of transfers or graduation. Among the eight players that won’t be back the next season, three are no longer eligible: Rivaldo Soares, Le’Tre Darthard, and Maks Klanjscek. However, five more people—Javian McCollum, Oltega Oweh, Miguel S. Uzan, Cooper, and now Hugely IV—have chosen to depart through the transfer site.

And if 6-foot-7-inch forward Jalon Moore does not exercise his option to return to school rather than enter the NBA draft, the Sooners might lose yet another.

McCollum and Hugely transferred from Siena and Pittsburgh, respectively, and spent just one season at Oklahoma. However, Moser recruited Oweh and Uzan for OU’s 2022 class.

Only one year of eligibility remains for each of the three transfers that the Sooners signed for the upcoming year. All the meantime, OU continues to run at a net loss of five. Sam Godwin, a 6-foot-10-inch forward, seems to be the sole starter from the last team that is back.

For OU men’s basketball, things are most definitely not going well as the team gets ready to join the SEC in 2024–25.

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