The special freshman this season in men’s college basketball are joined by a super sophomore in Oklahoma State point guard Marcus Smart. Smart probably would have gone No. 1 in the 2013 Draft had he come out but elected to stay in school. Cowboys fans are pretty happy about that after he dropped 39 points on the Memphis Tigers last night including a nasty alley-oop.
All told, Smart’s 39 points â€” plus five steals and two blocks â€” helped the Cowboys destroy the Tigers, 101-80. Twice during the first half he scored 12 consecutive points for his No. 7 ranked Oklahoma State team. Last season’s Big 12 Player of the Yea issued a challenge to the nation’s top freshman by going 11-of-21 from the field including 5-for-10 from deep and 12-of-16 from the charity stripe on his big night.
Circle January 18 and March 1 on your calendars because that’s when Oklahoma State faces off against Andrew Wiggins and Kansas in a battle between the Big 12’s two best teams and two of the best college basketball players in the country. We think Smart has a little extra motivation in store for those games as well, so this probably isn’t the last time he dominates a team so wholly. The 6-4 220-pound sophomore is going to be cold crushing it in the NBA next season, just like the heavily hyped freshman.
Thunder star Kevin Durant was at the game, and he praised Smart’s game to USA Today, saying Smart was ready for the NBA right now:
“Marcus can play in the league right now. Definitely,” Durant, who attended the game at Gallagher-Iba Arena, told USA Today Sports.
Durant was one of many basketball fans across the country interested to see Smart’s return to the national stage after he bypassed the NBA draft following the Cowboys’ early exit from last season’s NCAA tournament.
“We saw Kevin Durant, and we just wanted to go out there and put on a show,” Smart said.
Durant, who has led the NBA in scoring three times, was impressed with Smart’s all-around ability.
“He was just unbelievable for them tonight,” Durant told USA Today Sports. “He was doing it all for them, rebounding, blocking shots, passing, scoring. He led them.
“I knew he could do everything pretty well. But I like his demeanor. I like how he handles his teammates. A player like him, he always can burst out and get 30 or 40 points.”
High praise from KD, and we can’t wait to him at the next level. For right now though, there’s the college basketball season as Smart looks to make up for last season’s disappointing early exit in the NCAA Tournament.
What do you think?
Follow Spencer on Twitter at @countcenci.
Follow Dime on Twitter at @DimeMag.
Become a fan of Dime Magazine on Facebook HERE.