The day Le’Bryan Nash sported a gigantic orange cowboy hat to announce his commitment to Oklahoma State, no one thought he would make it to his sophomore season in Stillwater, much less his senior one.
He was widely expected to be a one-and-done player. He’d spend a year in orange, star for the Cowboys, then bolt for the NBA.
Things didn’t work out that way.
But Nash still has a chance to be a star for the Cowboys and springboard himself into the NBA.
He just has to come back for one more season.
As the deadline for underclassmen to declare for the NBA Draft approaches, Nash says he hasn’t decided whether to return to OSU for his senior year or leave for the NBA. He posted as much on his Twitter account Sunday night after a report surfaced saying he had decided to stay in school.
Chances are good that report will ultimately prove true. Nash already has a draft assessment from the NBA, and it’s likely less-than-favorable. He might be a late second-round pick but is much more likely to go undrafted. No contract. No guarantees. That’s the sort of thing that compels players to stay in school.
But the truth is, a return to OSU would be great for Nash.
Great, too, for the Cowboys.
OSU, of course, is losing Marcus Smart and Markel Brown, both of whom could be taken in the first round of the NBA Draft. Still, Cowboy coach Travis Ford is talking optimistically about next year’s team. Part of that is because of a talented incoming bunch, but much of his optimism is because of who returns.
Nash is at the top of that list.
“Everything he talks about is coming back,” Ford said during a small end-of-season gathering of local media earlier this month, “and he’s excited about it for the right reasons.”
Nash should be excited about the potential of next season. For starters, he’ll be the main man. Phil Forte, Michael Cobbins, Kamari Murphy are solid. Leyton Hammonds and Jeffrey Carroll are intriguing. Jared Terrell, Mitchell Solomon and the rest of a talented group of signees are promising. But Nash is clearly the best of the bunch.