The Oklahoma State Cowboys are 8-1 and the No. 9 team in college basketball. They defeated the lowly South Carolina Gamecocks, who were picked to finish 12th in the SEC, 79-52. One major criticism that has followed the Cowboys all season long has been that they are far too reliant on sophomore star Marcus Smart.
There’s nothing wrong with relying on a player of Smart’s caliber; he’s averaging over 20 points a game and has scored 25 points or more in three games, including a 39 point performance against the Memphis Tigers. When Marcus has had bad games, Oklahoma State has struggled. Their lone loss to Memphis the second time around was due, in part, to Smart only being able to score 12 points going 4-13 from the floor.
However, against South Carolina, Oklahoma State finally showed that they were more than just Smart. All five starters for the Cowboys scored at least 10 points, and two players off of the bench scored eight. This kind of all-around performance is exactly what they will need to go far in the 2014 NCAA Tournament. The Gamecocks aren’t that great of a team and nowhere near 2014 NCAA Tournament bound, but do remember that they almost upset the ranked Baylor Bears.
If the Cowboys can continue to have scoring performances like they did against South Carolina, there could definitely be a Big 12 title in their future. Even more important than even winning the Big 12, a trip to at least the Elite Eight should be expected.