Marcus Smart was the man driving the bus in the first half and then he handed the keys to teammate…
Old Spice Classic Preview: Oklahoma State
Location: Stillwater, OK
Conference: Big 12
Home Venue: Gallagher-Iba Arena
Head Coach: Travis Ford (6th season, 108-64)
Last NCAA Tournament Appearance: 2013
2012-13 Record: 24-9 (13-5)
2012-13 Postseason: NCAAs, Round of 64 loss to Oregon
2013-14 Record: 4-0 (results below in order)
- W, 117-62 vs. Mississippi Valley State
- W, 93-40 vs. Utah Valley
- W, 97-63 vs. Arkansas-Pine Bluff
- W, 101-80 vs. No. 11 Memphis (non-bracketed Old Spice Classic game)
PROJECTED STARTING LINEUP
G Marcus Smart (6-4, 220, So.)
G Markel Brown (6-3, 190, Sr.)
G/F Brian Williams (6-5, 210, Jr.)
F Le'Bryan Nash (6-7, 235, Jr.)
F Michael Cobbins (6-8, 230, Jr.)
BY THE NUMBERS
Leading Scorer: Marcus Smart, 20.0
Leading Rebounder: Le'Bryan Nash, 7.3
Leader in Assists: Stevie Clark, 5.0
Team Points Per Game: 102.0
Points Conceded Per Game: 61.3
STATE OF THE TEAM
(As written by GoPokes.com's Terry Tush)
Oklahoma State is led by Associated Press preseason All-American Marcus Smart (the only player listed on the ballot of all 65 voters), who would have been a top three pick in the 2013 NBA Draft but elected to return to OSU for his sophomore season. He showed last Tuesday night why he's also considered one of the top national Player of the Year candidates with a career-best 39 points in leading the No. 7 Cowboys to a resounding 101-80 victory over No. 11 Memphis.
Smart is averaging 20.0 points, 4.3 rebounds, 4.3 steals and 3.5 assists for the Cowboys, who play at South Florida on Monday night. He set the school single-game record with nine steals in OSU's 93-40 victory over Utah Valley on Nov. 12.
But the Cowboys are much more than a one-man team. Four other players are averaging in double figures with high-flying senior guard Markel Brown (16.5 ppg) leading the way. Brown, whose monstrous dunks have been featured on ESPN's Top 10 Plays of the Day, is only the sixth player in school history with 100 steals and 75 blocked shots in a career.
Sophomore sharpshooter Phil Forte (15.8 ppg, 63.7 percent from 3-point range), junior Le'Bryan Nash (11.5 ppg, 7.3 reb.) and junior Brian Williams (11.3 ppg, 5.0 reb.) make it impossible for teams to focus on Smart and Brown. Also, freshman Stevie Clark contributes 9.8 points and 5.0 assists a game.
This is the best team in head coach Travis Ford's six years at Oklahoma State. He is 108-64 in five-plus years coaching the Cowboys, and has taken them to the NCAA tournament three times the past five seasons.
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