The Oklahoma State Cowboys had a great season despite being eliminated early from the NCAA Tournament. Heck, the season may have ended up being the springboard for the program to reach a higher level of national relevancy.
Now, however, the Cowboys immediate future rests on the hands of a select few players.
It is simple really. The NBA Draft is looming and players have to make decisions about their future. Does a lottery pick-level type of player feel like risking millions to play another season at his school, or will the cash be too alluring? Either way, you can’t blame any of the kids if they choose the cash over being exploited by the NCAA.
For the Cowboys, LeBryan Nash has reportedly made it well known he is coming back for another year. This is huge for the program as Nash is a solid guard/forward combo whose production would be missed.
Then, there is the story of two guards. Markel Brown seems like a lock to stay. According to some experts, Brown is not thought of that highly on some of their mock draft boards, so coming back could help prove those folks wrong.
There is another, maybe more important guard OK State is waiting on: Marcus Smart. Smart had a terrific freshmen campaign and many feel he is a lottery pick lock. Although some reports are surfacing that Smart really enjoyed his time with the program and the school, who knows if he is coming or going, but time is running out for him to make a decision.
It is not inconceivable that all three players will be in a Cowboys’ uniform next season. The only one who is likely to go is Smart, although it is hard to predict what a kid is going to do. Still, Oklahoma State is doing a great job of building their program and their future looks as bright as any in the nation.
Joe is a Senior Writer for Rant Sports. Follow him on Twitter @JosephNardone