Smart has been notorious for losing his cool, but he achieved Legarrette Blount status with 6.1 seconds remaining in the second half of Oklahoma State’s fourth straight loss. The Red Raiders’ fanbase came out in a big way Saturday with 15,098 in attendance; it was Texas Tech’s first sellout since 2007.
The biggest contributor to the upset was senior Jaye Crockett. Crockett has been the epitome of the struggles of the program after three years of being a bottom-feeder in the Big 12 Conference. In his senior season, Crockett finally has a coach that appears to be the one to stay in Lubbock. Tubby Smith has never had a losing team in his entire career, and has quickly changed the locker room culture for the Red Raiders. Crockett had 21 points and 12 rebounds, including two clutch three pointers down the stretch.
The difference between Crockett and Smart was how they attacked the basket. While Smart was looking to get to the free throw line, Crockett was looking to get to the basket. On several occasions, Smart would flop on a stripped dribble while Crockett would run the floor to get transition buckets for his team. Smart left his team vulnerable by trying to sell a non-existent foul. Crockett was too busy trying to score to worry about drawing a whistle.
With six seconds remaining, Smart was a step too slow to stop Crockett, who was fouled hard on a dunk attempt by Smart. Smart’s momentum took him into the stands where he came face-to-face with an older gentleman. Words were exchanged and Smart resorted to shoving the fan. Much like the Blount situation against Boise State, Smart simply lost his composure. The officials failed to toss Smart, but his behavior crossed the line.
This is another example of how head coach Travis Ford has failed to keep his thumb on his team. Ford could have pulled Smart to dissolve the situation, but failed to do so. Ford just stood idly by while Smart went on his mini-tirade. Being that Ford has failed to discipline players this season, do not be surprised to see Smart suspended by the league as soon as possible.
This is the last thing that Oklahoma State needed after their recent struggles, but they are forced to pay the piper for lacking self control.