Kevin Durant sat court side for No. 7 Oklahoma State hosting No. 11 Memphis Tuesday night. By the end of the night, he must’ve felt he was watching a YouTube clip of himself.
With the state of the college basketball world – and every single last member of the Utah Jazz’s front office – acting like this with each freshman conquest, Oklahoma State sophomore Marcus Smart laid forth perhaps the most audacious testimony of a still very young season.
“We saw Kevin Durant, and we just wanted to go out there and put on a show,” Smart acknowledged.
Thirty-nine points, five steals, four rebounds, four assists, two blocks and a 101-80 victory later, Smart more than put on a show. He produced, directed and starred in his own 40-minute documentary. The reigning Big 12 Player of the Year slashed to the basket and pulled up for video game-like threes at will more than relishing the opportunity to showcase his talent in front of the entire country (and over 20 pro scouts in attendance).
There needs to be some sort of NBA reality show where a young, suave, handsome, debonair basketball fan tours the country traveling from one perceived lottery franchise to another. I can’t escape the feeling each front office is going absolutely apeshit, like the opening of the stock market, rearranging their draft board every week. And as someone young, suave and debonair, I nominate myself because three-out-of-four isn’t too shabby.
Remember the name Marcus Smart. Your favorite pro team could very well be investing in him in about seven months.
— Jabari Parker’s the big man on Duke’s campus, and his 21-9-6 (blocks) paced the No. 6 Blue Devils in a 83-74 win over ECU. However, it was Rodney Hood’s 30 points on a near perfect shooting exhibition (8-10 FG, 2-2 3PT, 12-12 FT) was the story of the night in Cameron Indoor.
— No. 3 Louisville continues to coast following a 87-48 win over Hartford. Looking for the defending champs first real test? Likely not until December 28 when they travel to Rupp Arena to take on Julius Randle and Kentucky.
— Speaking of Randle, he notched his fifth consecutive 20-10 game by finishing with 22-10-4-2 (blocks) in a 105-76 W over Texas-Arlington. Seriously, he’s about a week away from me officially calling him “Baby Z-Bo.”
— Perry Ellis’ hot shooting (9-11 FG, 21 points and seven rebounds) led No. 2 Kansas to a 86-66 win against Iona. Andrew Wiggins provided another all-around performance with 13 points, seven rebounds, three assists and two steals.
— Smart didn’t even post the highest point total last night. No. 12 Wisconsin’s Frank Kaminsky dropped 43 in a 103-85 drubbing of North Dakota.
— Nick Johnson’s 20-10-6 led the way for No. 5 Arizona’s 87-59 win against Rhode Island. For what it’s worth, there’s a freshman on R.I. named Biggie Minnis. And that’s awesome.