Men’s basketball adds O’Connell to top-ranked recruiting class in Pac-12

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After having already compiled the highest-ranked recruiting class in the Pac-12, Stanford men’s basketball added another guard to its repertoire with the signing of Michael O’Connell. The program’s fifth class of 2024 prospect announced his decision to join the Cardinal on Monday in a post to his personal Instagram account. 

At 6’2″, O’Connell stands the same height as freshman phenom Tyrell Terry, who declared for the NBA draft in early April after helping Stanford finish its 2020 season with an impressive 20-12 record. Terry has until June 15 to withdraw from the draft and maintain his collegiate eligibility, according to NCAA rules. 

In the 2020 signing class, O’Connell’s signing follows that of guard Noah Taitz and forwards Max Murrell, Brandon Angel and Zaire Williams. Even before O’Connell’s announcement, Stanford’s incoming recruiting class was ranked No. 13 overall by 247 sports and No. 14 overall by Rivals. The signing of Williams made headlines as team’s first consensus five-star recruit since Brook and Robin Lopez came to the Farm in 2006. 

O’Connell joins the on-the-rise Cardinal squad after graduating from Blair Academy in New Jersey. During his senior season, the guard averaged 18 points, five rebounds and five assists per game — earning both all-league and first team all-state selections alongside a trip to the 2019-20 MAPL Championship. His standout senior year was prefaced by three varsity years at Chaminade High School in New York, during which O’Connell acquired three all-league selections and the 2018-19 NSCHSAA Player of the Year. 

Basketball was not the athlete’s only area of expertise, however. While O’Connell may be moving to the Farm, he had originally committed to Maryland lacrosse as Inside Lacrosse’s No. 81 recruit in the nation. While Stanford has a women’s lacrosse team, there is no Division I men’s equivalent in the Pac-12.

Though excitement about Stanford’s highly-touted incoming freshmen and upcoming season is building throughout the world of Division I basketball, the University has yet to release concrete plans for athletes and the 2020-21 academic year.

On Wednesday, Stanford announced its intention to begin classes one week early in the fall, limit the number of undergraduates on campus to approximately half of the student body each quarter, rotate which students reside on campus during a given quarter and include summer quarter as part of the traditional, residential academic year. Still undisclosed, however, are details about how Cardinal student-athletes — approximately 900 individuals — will fit into this design. 

Contact Savanna Stewart at savnstew ‘at’ stanford.edu. 

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