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FORT WORTH, Texas — Under normal circumstances, Isaac Likekele would have seven games left in his college career, but his time as a Cowboy has been far from normal.

Likekele, a fourth-year senior Oklahoma State guard, has the option to return to play a fifth season of college basketball should he choose because of the COVID pandemic. Having been on a team with only seven scholarship players, a team with the No. 1 NBA Draft Pick on it, an NCAA Tournament team and a team banned from the NCAA Tournament, Likekele has been through a lot in his college career.

After the Cowboys’ 77-73 loss to TCU on Tuesday night, Likekele said his focus is on this season, and that he hasn’t put as much thought into next season.

“That’s too far ahead, honestly, to think about,” Likekele said. “I’m just trying to win on Saturday, the best thing for us, honestly. I’m just trying to get wins, wins, wins.”

Likekele has led the Cowboys in assists per game every season he has been on OSU’s campus. And he is more than just a passer. He has scored 981 career points and brought down 600 rebounds in his career.

This season, Likekele ranks first among Cowboys in rebounds (133) and assists (86) this season. He has 33 more assists than Bryce Williams, the Cowboys’ second-leading assister. Likekele is also third on the team in steals with 33, and his 7.7 points per game rank fourth on the team.

Likekele has been on every team Mike Boynton has coached. Boynton has made many references over the past few weeks that this was it for Likekele, but when asked about it Tuesday night, Boynton wasn’t definitive.

“I don’t know,” Boynton said. “That kid has been through a lot in our program. That’s not a conversation we’ve had yet. Obviously, what we’ll do is try to do what’s best for him and his long-term future. If that is returning, that’ll be a conversation we have at some future date.”

Scholarships are tight around Oklahoma State. Normally basketball teams are allowed to have 13 people on scholarship. OSU has 14 this season with Williams returning for a COVID year, but teams won’t be allowed to carry more than 13 moving forward, even if COVID seniors choose to come back. On top of that, OSU had scholarship sanctions attached to their NCAA Tournament ban that require the program to lose three scholarships over three seasons. OSU already has a 2022 signee in Quion Williams, meaning someone is going to have to open up a spot next season.

But that’s in the future, and Likekele is in the present.

“Honestly, I’m just playing,” Likekele said. “I’m going to be honest with you, I literally don’t think about any of that stuff. … The only thing I’m thinking about is day to day, practices, how to try to help better my team because, like I said, we’re just trying to win games.”

The post With a Fifth Year an Option, Isaac Likekele’s Future Uncertain appeared first on Pistols Firing.

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