Oklahoma State’s 5 Most Important Players in the 2014 NCAA Tournament

2014 NCAA Tournament: Oklahoma State’s 5 Most Important Players

Travis Ford:Oklahoma State
Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

The Oklahoma State Cowboys were rolling along with a record of 16-3; then the bottom dropped out and they lost seven straight games. At that point, it was hard to imagine Oklahoma State figuring it out in time to make the NCAA Tournament. Oklahoma State did figure it out, though, and won five of their final seven games. How far can Oklahoma State go in the tournament? It will depend on how these five players perform.

5. Kamari Murphy

Kamari Murphy
Reese Strickland-USA TODAY Sports

5. Kamari Murphy

Kamari Murphy
Reese Strickland-USA TODAY Sports

Murphy leads the Cowboys in rebounding, but he only averages 6.2 rebounds per game. Oklahoma State will need to be better on the boards if they want to go deep in the tournament, and Murphy will have to be a big part of that.

4. Phil Forte

Phil Forte
Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

4. Phil Forte

Phil Forte
Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

Phil Forte is the three-point specialist for Oklahoma State, and when he gets hot, he is hard to stop. Oklahoma State has better scorers on their team, but if the defense pays too much attention to those guys and forgets about Forte, he will make them pay.

3. LeBryan Nash

LeBryan Nash
Nelson Chenault-USA TODAY Sports

3. LeBryan Nash

LeBryan Nash
Nelson Chenault-USA TODAY Sports

Le’Bryan Nash averaged 14.2 points per game this season. He is important because when he is on his game, it gives the Cowboys a third scoring threat that makes them much more dangerous.

2. Markel Brown

Markel Brown
Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

2. Markel Brown

Markel Brown
Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

Markel Brown has scored 20 or more points in three of his last five games, and Oklahoma State will need that to continue. The Cowboys will need two consistent scorers in order to win games, and Markel Brown is the most likely candidate to fill one of those roles.

1. Marcus Smart

Marcus Smart
Alonzo Adams-USA TODAY Sports

1. Marcus Smart

Marcus Smart
Alonzo Adams-USA TODAY Sports

Oklahoma State will only go as far as Marcus Smart can carry them. He leads the team in points and assists, and he is second on the team in rebounds. Smart is one of the best players in the country, and for Oklahoma State to get very far, he will have to play like it.

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