It might be early, but Oklahoma State Cowboys basketball is officially back. Freshmen Marcus Smart and Phil Forte showed they are the real deal on Thursday night.
The duo of Smart and Forte played as if they had never graduated high school. There was a four minute spread in the first half when Forte put on an absolute shooting clinic. Forte showed the opposing team that it does not matter how close he is guarded, Forte can still get a nice shot off. Forte’s shooting prowess rubbed off on teammates Kirby Gardner and Christien Sager who got actively involved from behind the arc. Collectively, the cowboys knocked down 9 three-pointers in the first half. Many of the shots were dished out by beautiful assists on Smart’s behalf.
Smart played tenacious. Scrapping for balls on the defensive end and turning them into points on the offensive end. Smart looked very reminiscent of former Cowboy Tony Allen (presently with the Memphis Grizzlies). Any Cowboy fan would get excited to hear about someone resembling Allen, except Smart takes it a step farther. If there was any downfall to Allen’s game, it was his ball handling skills. Smart on the other hand proved that he not only has great ball handling skills as a freshman, but that he will be a solid starting point guard. Cowboy fans should get excited that Smart will have the ball in his hands every possession down the court.
It is going to be important this season for one of them to get hot during games. If Forte starts draining three-pointers then Smart knows he just has to get the ball in Forte’s hands, which he was very good at doing Thursday night. On the other hand, if Forte is active around the arc, then it will open easy shot attempts for Smart that he already proved he can knock down.
The Cowboys defeated Ottawa 109-56.