How different things could have been, had Tisdale stayed for Sr Year.


New member
Nov 28, 2008
Reaction score
Of course, OU would have been a lot better in 1986, and Tisdale probably would have become the NCAA's all time leading scorer. Also, the 1985 and 1986 drafts would have been effected, and history would have been rewritten.

In the 1985 draft, Indiana selected Tisdale with their #2 pick. Who would they have picked if Tisdale were not available?

Benoit Benjamin and Xavier McDaniel went 3 and 4, they'd both move up a spot. How about this? Karl Malone as a Chicago Bull? They drafted Keith Lee at 10, what if he had gone earlier, Malone would have been sitting there at 10, would they have selected him? As it was, the Jazz took him at 12.

As for the 1986 draft, would Tisdale have gone before Brad Daugherty? If Cleveland still selected Daugherty at #1, could Tisdale have gone #2?

You know who had the #2 pick in 1986? The Boston Celtics. Instead of drafting Len Bias, they may have drafted Wayman Tisdale. And instead of being a Pacer, a King and a Sun, and live in NBA obscurity, Tisdale could have been front and center with Bird, Parrish and McHale.

If the Celtics still went with Bias, Tisdale most certainly would have gone #3 and joined Chris Mullin with Golden State, and become a part of what later would become a very solid ballclub with Mullin and Mitch Richmond 2 years later.

Just some random thoughts.
How about the OU team that next year. Stacey King would probably be forced to redshirt due to the depth we would have had inside. Which is the biggest possible change. He could have had a year to learn from and watch one of the best and could have led to him playing more. But the rest of the roster. Choo Kennedy, Tim McAlister, Anthony Bowie, and David Johnson were all returning. That's a pretty good roster. Back to King he may have been so highly thought of after 88 he leaves early anyway, but give him a year to learn under the best and his next season may have been a much better year than averaging 7 points and 4 boards a game.
The only negative thing about this scenario is that OU would have had the same weakness in '86 as they did in '85 - no true point guard. It wasn't until the '86-87 season when Ricky Grace stepped foot in Lloyd Noble. We actually did have a true point guard from the most successful OU recruiting class ever - 1983. Billy signed a guy named Mark Wade who was supposed to be the point guard for Wayman's junior season (Jan Pannel was the starter when Wade was a frosh in '84). However, Mark left the program after one season and Billy didn't get a true replacement until Grace. Wade, of course, was the starting point guard on UNLV's Final Four team in 1987.

With that said, OU may still have had enough firepower to win it all in '86. The two teams who played for the title (who were actually the two best teams that year), Duke and Louisville, weren't any better than OU if they had Wayman.

Who knows, maybe OU would have also set a homecourt winning streak that would never be broken. As it was, OU only lost two home games in seven plus years, and one was against Kansas in '86. That a was a terrific Final Four Kansas team, but KU wouldn't have won that game in Norman with Wayman...not by any stretch of the imagination. The other loss was a one-pointer the next year against KSU, but who knows how that one would have turned out if OU had that streak going.
If you want to play what if games with Wayman, try this one. What if Mark Price and Wayman had played college basketball together. Could those two Oklahoma kids be stopped in College? Talk about a dual threat. I am pretty sure they both graduated high school in 1982 but at most they were only one year apart.

If you want to get even crazier just imagine if John Starks went to OU a year behind Wayman and Mark Price. Those guys would have coasted to a NCAA Championship. You could hae tossed out a couple of Oklahoma kids to play with them (like Chew Kennedy and Anthonie Bowie). That line up is a bit small but I think those 5 Oklahoma kids could have put it on virtually anyone.
That '82 high school graduating class had Wayman, Mark Price, Steve Hale and Anthony Bowie. Obviously, it would have been nice to have all four, but I don't believe Hale seriously considered OU, and I'm positive Price didn't. That's why I don't think about those "what ifs" as much as I do if Mark Wade stayed with the program.