The reigning Big 12 Player of the Week, Marcus Smart, has been a man on a mission in the first two weeks of conference play. The Oklahoma State Cowboys throttled the Texas Christian Horned Frogs 82-50 Wednesday night to improve to 3-1 in conference play. Smart has not missed a beat since being named the conference player of the week Monday, fluidly following the success of his averaged 23 points and 12 rebounds in two key conference games. Smart had been in the conversation for being one of the top players in the country prior to last week, but has elevated his game as of late.
Until last week, Smart had been unsuccessful in recording a double-double. Last week, he turned in back-to-back double-double performances. Smart flirted with his third consecutive double-double Wednesday night with 20 points, eight rebounds and five assists. The reason for Smart’s new-found success in the statistical line has been his ability to rebound. The absence of Michael Cobbins initially hampered the Cowboys’ ability to rebound with their strong center down with an injury, but Smart has taken it upon himself to pick up the slack.
Since the Cobbins injury, Smart is averaging nearly 10 rebounds per game. His output is nearly double his season average. Since certain pundits were critical of his low assist total, Smart has had five or more assists in four out of his last five games. Smart has proven to be an adaptable player, which has improved his versatility rate. After a shaky first week, Smart and his Cowboys appear ready to hop into the driver seat in the Big 12 Conference. Oklahoma State has endured and survived nearly every possible obstacle that could derail a team in a given season. Oklahoma State has scoffed at adversity and continued to bring their best for 40 minutes, no matter what trial or tribulation they face.
Jack Dooley is a Big 12 Basketball writer for Rant Sports. You can follow him on Twitter @JackDooleyOCS.