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Oklahoma State's Marcus Smart Continues To Impress
July 24, 2013
Wendell Barnhouse is a nationally-known and respected columnist who has spent over 20 years covering collegiate athletics. He has reported from 25 Final Fours and more than three dozen bowl games and has written about the Big 12 and its schools since the conference's beginning. Barnhouse will be updating the Big 12 Insider on happenings and behind-the-scenes information about the conference.

ESPN's Andy Katz, in his regular 3-Point Shot offering, writes that Oklahoma State's Marcus Smart is making positive impressions at USA Basketball's mini-camp:

Oklahoma State rising sophomore Marcus Smart told Yahoo! Sports that he would leave the Cowboys after the 2013-14 season. This was expected but now it's not hidden. But no one should fault Smart, who talks more about his status in this video.

Smart did stay beyond what was projected. He easily could have challenged for the No. 1 spot in the NBA draft last month. He decided to come back and lead the Cowboys to a possible Big 12 title and run toward the Final Four.

But Smart also has hardly shrunk from challenges. He stepped up to sign on for the FIBA U-19 gold medal winning USA team in Prague, a year after leading the U-18 team to a gold medal in Brazil. He played without ego and didn't mind blending, rather than being the go-to guy. He is one of two collegians (Creighton's Doug McDermott is the other) at the USA national team minicamp in Las Vegas.

Smart is giving Oklahoma State a bonus year by returning for his sophomore season. He has eliminated the questions of whether he'll return for his junior year. This is it. And based on the way he plays and handles himself, Oklahoma State will get the best of Smart every day, not a player who will be thinking about the draft or the NBA. He'll worry about that when it's applicable. 

Plus, Andy Glockner of writes that Smart delaying a pro career was an intelligent choice.




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