Breakdown: Five-star PG Jawun Evans commits to Oklahoma State

Jawun Evans was one of the best point guards still left on the board. (Kelly Kline/Under Armour)
Jawun Evans was one of the best point guards still left on the board. (Kelly Kline/Under Armour)

In a class with limited high-end point guards, Jawun Evans became a hot commodity during his high school career. Moving from South Carolina to Texas midway through high school made things even more interesting. A terrific spring and summer period meant Evans was a priority recruit, and it was clear that two schools stood out: Illinois and Oklahoma State.

After what appeared to be a back-and-forth battle over the past month or so, Evans made his announcement on Wednesday morning.

The five-star point guard is headed to Stillwater.

Evans is the Cowboys’ first commitment for the class of 2015 but is a great start for Travis Ford as the head coach enters a key season in his Oklahoma State future.

The file on … Jawun Evans

  • Height: 6-foot
  • Weight: 165 pounds
  • Position: Point guard
  • Ranking: No. 21 in 247Sports Composite for class of 2015, No. 3 point guard
  • High School: Kimball (Texas)
  • AAU: SC Raptors & Team Texas Elite
  • Stats: 14.1 points, 5.4 rebounds, 4.8 assists on Nike EYBL circuit

How he fits at Oklahoma State

Evans was one of my favorite players during the spring and summer AAU and camp circuit. He’s extremely quick with the ball in his hands and has excellent end-to-end speed. As a result, Evans is very good in transition, and he loves to push the ball up the court for easy baskets and assists. At the same time, though, Evans knows how to control tempo. He can slow the game down when necessary and initiate a half-court offense. Evans is a good decision-maker, too, and doesn’t shy away from contact when entering the lane. He’s not a knockdown 3-point shooter, but he’s capable of making shots from behind the arc. Defensively, Evans can pressure the ball when guarding, creating steals and forcing turnovers. 

Oklahoma State’s perimeter group will have some pieces when Evans gets on campus for the 2015-16 season. Phil Forte will be entering his senior campaign, and he should expect plenty of open perimeter shots due to Evans’ quickness and ability to get into the lane. Jeff Newberry, an incoming junior college transfer, will push for time in the backcourt this season for the Cowboys, though Evans could force Ford to go with a smaller lineup in 2015-16. Incoming freshman Tyree Griffin is the only other guard on the future roster.

What it means for Oklahoma State’s class

Oklahoma State still has at least two scholarships remaining for 2015, as Evans is the first commitment for the Cowboys. After the upcoming season, Ford will lose Le’Bryan Nash, Anthony Hickey, Michael Cobbins and Marek Soucek – a core group that includes three likely starters. As a result, Evans will need to take the reins immediately when he steps on campus and find a way to become a leader as a freshman.

The biggest target remaining for Oklahoma State is Elijah Thomas; his recruitment could wind up being another battle between Illinois and Oklahoma State. Thomas is close with Evans, and the two have said in the past that they might want to play with each other in college. However, those sentiments have waned in recent weeks, as the idea of Evans and Thomas being a "package deal" was essentially shot down by Thomas.

On the perimeter, Admon Gilder is a prime target – and the 6-foot-2 Dallas native took a visit to Stillwater in September. SMU, Baylor, Texas A&M, Texas and Kansas State were also on his final list. Gilder and Thomas visited Oklahoma State together. Oklahoma State also made the final five for five-star center Diamond Stone, though the Cowboys are playing catch up for the elite big man.

Which school loses the most?

Despite the presence of USC and -- at times -- Texas, the biggest threat to Oklahoma State over the past month or so has been Illinois, which therefore makes the Fighting Illini the biggest “loser” from Evans’ decision day. With that said, Illinois is absolutely loaded on the perimeter moving forward and that could have been part of the reason Evans chose Oklahoma State. The Fighting Illini have eight guards on the roster for 2015-16 and just landed high-end four-star guard Jalen Coleman, who can play both guard positions. The medical redshirt for Tracy Abrams also means that he will be returning for the 2015-16 campaign. An Evans-Coleman backcourt would have been outstanding moving forward, but Illinois will be OK if John Groce doesn't land another perimeter player in this class.

Two big targets for Illinois moving forward are Doral Moore and Carlton Bragg, though Moore did cancel his official visit to Illinois this past weekend. Bragg had an in-home visit with Groce earlier this week, and the Fighting Illini are on his final list of schools. 

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