Marcus Smart’s Return Means Oklahoma State Can Threaten Kansas’ Big 12 Streak in 2013-14
After one season in college basketball, Oklahoma State freshman point guard Marcus Smart was widely considered to be a top five selection in the 2013 NBA Draft, but the Cowboys’ superstar has shocked the world.
Smart will return to Oklahoma State for his sophomore season and alongside him is junior wing LeBryan Nash and high-flying forward Markel Brown. Following a 12:30pm (CT) press conference, the Oklahoma State athletic department tweeted this photo:
— OSU Athletics (@OSUAthletics) April 17, 2013
Smart was expected to be the top overall point guard selected in the 2013 NBA Draft, but that title may now be passed over to Michigan star Trey Burke following Smart’s decision to return. Smart was the team’s leading scorer on the season, averaging 15.4 points, 5.8 rebounds and 4.2 assists per game.
Looking ahead however, Smart’s decision to return instantly puts the Cowboys in contention for a Big 12 crown. In fact, with Smart back in the fold, Oklahoma State will certainly have the opportunity to put an end to Kansas‘ streak of nine consecutive regular season conference championships. The Cowboys — who earned a No. 5 seed in the NCAA Tournament this past March — return more than enough firepower in 2013-14 to make a serious run at the Final Four.
Smart stands at 6-foot-4 and his production instantly helped head coach Travis Ford put Oklahoma State back onto the national radar. The Cowboys were a dangerous squad a season ago, but Smart’s decision combined with Nash and Brown’s return could really take Oklahoma State to the next level in 2013-14.
Follow Paul Seaver on Twitter: @PaulSeaverRS