Marcus Smart surprised a lot of people by returning for his sophomore year to the Oklahoma State Cowboys. Now that he will be considered one of the best players in the nation, can he win the Naismith Trophy in the 2013-14 college basketball season?
Well, Smart will definitely have to step up his game if he plans on being the National Player of the Year. Trey Burke won the trophy last season and he fended off many great players.
Smart averaged 15.4 points per game, 5.8 rebounds per game and 4.2 assists per game in his freshman season. He could have easily been a top 10 pick in the 2013 NBA Draft with those kinds of numbers, but that was clearly not the case. Averaging even more in those categories would be great, but Smart needs to lead Oklahoma State to a Big 12 title and a deep run in the 2014 NCAA Tournament.
Winning the Big 12 may not be essential for taking home the Player of the Year award, but Oklahoma State cannot lose in its first game of the Big Dance once again.
The Cowboys should earn an even higher seed than No. 5, which will help their odds in making it far in the dance. Smart has a lot of talent around him, so it makes it even harder for him to shine on his team, but Burke was in the same boat this past season at Michigan. Keep in mind, Le’Bryan Nash and Markel Brown are on Oklahoma State, so there is a possibility that Smart may not even be the best player in the upcoming season, however, his talent is undeniable.
There are so many names that will be at the top of the list entering the season to be the Player of the Year, like Doug McDermott and Russ Smith, but Smart’s name should definitely be up there. He has the game and team to really make some noise in the upcoming season and it should not surprise anyone if he wins the Naismith Trophy at the end of the season.
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