In the most shocking decision of college basketball’s brief “off” season, multiple reports Tuesday night confirmed Oklahoma State’s all-america basketball star Marcus Smart plans on passing up the millions of dollars he’s expected to make in the NBA by returning to OSU for his sophomore season. Smart will reportedly make his decision official at a 12:30pm news conference Wednesday in the school’s Student Union in Stillwater.
The Big 12 “Player of the Year”, the Wayman Tisdale Award winner as the national “Freshman of the Year” and a near-consensus all-american, the 6-4 Smart took OSU’s team and put it on his broad shoulders…leading the Pokes to 20+ victories and the NCAA Tournament for the first time in four years. Projected to be a Top 5 pick in this summer’s NBA Draft, Smart’s departure from the Cowboys program was expected by pretty much everyone and many of us thought we had seen his final performance in an OSU uniform when Oregon eliminated the Pokes in the opening round of the “Big Dance” last month in San Jose, CA.
But others close to Smart insist he’s having the time of his life as a college kid and apparently he’s a good recruiter himself. Because multiple reports Wednesday also said Smart’s OSU teamates Markel Brown and Le’Bryan Nash, both canddiates to leave early for the NBA as well, will return for another season with the Cowboys to team up with Smart once again. And if all three indeed return to Stillwater, OSU will return the top three scorers in the entire Big 12 Conference once the season tips off this fall. So all that hootin’ and hollerin’ you heard last night probably came from inside head coach Travis Ford’s expansive house in Stilly. We’ll have Marcus Smart’s decision and reaction to his future later today on NewsChannel 4.