Gina Mizell: Marcus Smart has a few more weeks to decide if he'll stay with Oklahoma State

The Oklahoman's Gina Mizell took questions from readers in today's Oklahoma State Power Lunch Chat. Here's a recap of the Q&A.
by Gina Mizell Modified: April 3, 2013 at 1:01 pm •  Published: April 3, 2013
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The Oklahoman’s Gina Mizell took questions from readers in today’s Oklahoma State Power Lunch Chat. You can join our Power Lunch Chats Monday-Friday at 11 a.m. on NewOK.com/Sports. Here’s a recap of today’s Q&A:

Gina Mizell 11:00 a.m. Hey all, welcome to another OSU Power Lunch live chat. Give me like two minutes and I'll start answering questions---there are already several lined up. I'll go overtime, I promise!
Gina Mizell 11:04 a.m. Ok everyone, thanks for your patience. Let's go.
Chris 11:04 a.m. Excited about Spring Football! Any word on how Jeremiah Tshimanga is looking (is he healthy) and Seth Jacobs?
Gina Mizell 11:06 a.m. Great question. Going to be hard for either to crack the depth chart because of all the other guys at linebacker. I think both will turn out to be good players, but may have to wait their turn a bit. Lyndell Johnson's move to safety could open up a backup spot on the outside. Tshimanga, of course, is coming off that knee injury, as well. I'll ask about both of them today.
Cowboy-KS 11:07 a.m. Gina - I'm pumped with Yurcich as OC. Hopefully we can keep him around a few years instead of the 1 or 2 and done guys. Have we heard what we are paying Yurcich?
Gina Mizell 11:10 a.m. Certainly way more than the 52K he was making at Shippensburg. But likely not as much as Monken. New assistant salaries haven't been released yet. I'll get on our assistant sports editor, our FOIA master, to see if we can get those soon.
bay 11:10 a.m. When will Smart announce his decision. Is the longer the wait good or bad news for OSUMB.
Gina Mizell 11:12 a.m. He has until April 16, so a couple more weeks. I don't know if the longer he waits is necessarily good OR bad. He's clearly taking his time to weigh the decision and get the information he needs, which he should be doing. I still don't know how you can pass up top-5 (possibly No. 1 overall) money, but stranger things have happened.
Cowboy-KS 11:12 a.m. Are the Young One's (Curry, Shepherd, Hays, Webb, Carr, Glidden) shaping up to give Tracy, Charlie, Josh, and Blake a run for the starting slots this year?
Gina Mizell 11:15 a.m. I think the combo of the Moores, Stewart and Jackson are a pretty good bet to start right now. Hays obviously got starting experience last year, too, and could challenge Charlie Moore. Gundy also said last week that Tracy will play inside and outside, so that could open up an outside spot for Hays, Curry, Sheperd, etc. I know coaches really like Webb, as well.
Chris 11:16 a.m. Any word on who has looked the best of the young DEs?
Cowboy-KS 11:16 a.m. Of all my position assessments, Defensive End is the most critical this year. Lots of talent on staff, but it's all inexperienced. New kids Davis and Ogbah have both packed on some serious muscle (270#) and Bean/Clark/Wren look like great role players in the 250'ish range. How do you see the DE's shaking out this season?
Tommy 11:16 a.m. Is there any word on how Naim Mustafaa looks so far?
OrangeAggie 11:16 a.m. Hearing much about the new DEs, Mustafaa and Wren?
Gina Mizell 11:16 a.m. Decided to address the defensive end questions all at once...
Gina Mizell 11:21 a.m. I agree with Cowboy-KS in that it's arguably the most intriguing position battle this spring because of the need to replace two starters and another key contributor. Sam Wren, like most JC guys, was brought here to compete for a starting job right away, so I would expect him to see a good chunk of time. Trace Clark and Jimmy Bean are the only youngsters to have seen any game action. Clark's very intelligent and has pretty good size, while Ogbah and Irokansi are probably better athletes. Joe Bob Clements is scheduled to meet with reporters today, so I should have a better update on this position here in a few hours.
Tommy 11:22 a.m. What are the chances of OSU landing some of these big name Oklahoma high school recruits? I know Clark and another said they would not mind playing in the SEC.
Gina Mizell 11:24 a.m. Well, they've already landed one in Devon Thomas. Certainly a lot of these in-state kids will be high on OSU's list. One of our high school reporters said the other day that this is the best in-state class in recent memory. But of course Clark and others would be intrigued by the SEC...what high school player wouldn't be? It will be real interesting to see how this recruiting season goes.
Cowboy-KS 11:25 a.m. I know you are a Lunt Hater, but after watching the game tapes from last season I'm still way more sold on him than definitely Chelf and think he brings a little more vertical/sideline stretch than Walsh. Seriously, Lunt and our D beat TCU fairly easily even with zero redzone O. Against Kstate, Lunt did well until Monken figured out we had zero run game (Randle ran for 48 yards...). Chelf couldn't beat Baylor. How can you see Lunt sitting on pine while we have perhaps the best WR group in the nation on the field?
Gina Mizell 11:28 a.m. Not a Lunt hater. At all. I think he has a fantastic arm. I had a hunch he would win the starting job out of spring ball last year and think he could be an NFL QB before it's all said and done. I just think, based on what I've heard from Gundy, that Chelf will be the guy in 2013 and Lunt will redshirt. That's just what I've picked up on. Things could change in the next couple weeks, of course.
brewzer 11:28 a.m. Has any kicker grabbed the number one spot, either as a pk or punter?
Gina Mizell 11:30 a.m. Another thing I plan to ask about today. You guys are reading my mind. The only true punter on the roster right now is Michael Reichenstein. Bobby Stonebreaker has been in the program a while, and Kip Smith has game experience at kicker from his UCLA days. But this competition won't be decided until Ben Grogan gets on campus.
Your Name 11:31 a.m. What do you make of Gundy telling CBS Sports that he nearly became the head coach of Tennessee? Seems like it's a story in the past. Weird to write about it during spring practice.
Gina Mizell 11:35 a.m. I thought the timing was a bit odd, too. But because Gundy doesn't really talk to the media at all during January/February, I somewhat understand why it came up. I had to do the same thing with a Glenn Spencer story I wrote a few weeks ago...I asked about the transition process that took place January since Gundy never had a press conference when the change actually happened. Since Gundy opted to answer the Tennessee questions--he could have said no comment--I completely understand why Jeremy Fowler wrote about it. Gundy gave some details he hasn't publicly given to anyone else.
Guest 11:36 a.m. Where do you see Toni Young playing next year?
Gina Mizell 11:38 a.m. Not sure if you mean what city or what position. I wouldn't be surprised if the Shock took her in the second round...that organization has seen her plenty this season. As far as position goes, she's too small to be a 4 in the WNBA. She worked on developing her perimeter game and extending her range a bit this season, but she still needs work there. With WNBA rosters so small, I think it will be difficult for her to make a team out of training camp. Still had a heck of a college career at OSU, though. Maybe Olympic high jumper is next?
Dee 11:39 a.m. Have you heard anything about the two freshman running backs?
Gina Mizell 11:39 a.m. They aren't on campus yet, so no.
Cowboy-KS 11:39 a.m. Are Bennett and Muncrief looking like snap-worthy in real game situations? Any indications that Mr. Dominator the Rammer will be our first FB in a long time to tote the rock on a regular basis? As good as he is playing high speed road grader, he also looks like a heck of a ball carrier.
Gina Mizell 11:44 a.m. Wrote about Muncrief a couple weeks ago. Singleton mentioned the spring will be a big time for him, because he'll get a lot of reps. Can't have freshman mistakes in practice anymore. I know Singleton also likes Bennett's experience/knowledge of the offense. But I wouldn't be surprised if one of those freshmen--Childs or Webster--takes the No. 3 role. As far as Ramacher goes, it will be interesting to see how he's used. Staley is obviously the starting FB and has proven he can block and catch. But Ramacher just looks like a football player. Great size. I'm curious to see how he fits in this season and beyond.
Jason 11:45 a.m. What's your gut feeling on how the change in defensive philosophy will affect the Cowboys? It seems like Bill Young's "bend-don't-break, force lots of turnovers" style fit the team very well... until a few key games last season.
Gina Mizell 11:50 a.m. I think there had to be some sort of shift--particularly with the cornerbacks. And I think Gundy now thinks the Cowboys have the right athletes--Barnett and Castleman in the middle, that deep group of LBs, etc--to play more aggressively all around. The turnovers that unit created in 2011 was stunning, but it simply didn't happen in 2012. Going up against two outstanding offenses in Baylor and OU certainly magnified things at the end of the season. You wonder if there would have been any difference in perception if one of those games was in September and one in November. But Gundy told me recently he didn't want a complete overhaul--he would have fired the whole staff if that were the case--but that it just needed a new spark. Spencer and this more aggressive style he thinks will provide that.
Gina Mizell 11:52 a.m. If you haven't noticed, we've gone into some serious OT here. I think this is the most questions I've ever gotten on this live chat. But I'll take a few more.
brewzer 11:52 a.m. How does Daxx stack up against the other three QB's so far this spring?
Tommy 11:52 a.m. If Lunt redshirts, will Garman be a viable third option?
Gina Mizell 11:56 a.m. Again, something I need to ask about. Yurcich has been mum about evaluating the QBs until he saw a few practices...we're to that point now. So time to revisit, I think. I know Gundy has been impressed with Garman's arm. But he's a longshot to be a factor in this competition. I think he is a viable third option if Lunt redshirts. Remember, most teams never need to go to their third QB. That's what made last year so goofy.
Jason 11:56 a.m. Thanks, Gina, that's great information. But I also want to know what YOU think will result from the defensive shift (i.e. more success with turnovers or defensive stops... or maybe not?). I know it's incredibly early, but what's your guess?
Gina Mizell 11:58 a.m. Like I said before, I think a change HAD to happen with the cornerbacks, at the very least. And I think turnovers can result a lot from aggressiveness. Make your own luck, right? The pieces are in place at a lot of key positions to shift more toward that style.
Gina Mizell 12:00 p.m. Ok, guys, we've gone almost double the time on the Power Lunch chat. I apologize if I didn't get to your question. I'll try to grab the rest and throw them in a blog later this week. Thanks for your enthusiasm! We've got availability here in a few hours, so check back for updates. Again, a lot of the questions you have are questions I have. Happy Wednesday!

by Gina Mizell
OSU Sports Reporter
Gina Mizell joined The Oklahoman in August of 2011 as the Oklahoma State beat writer, where she covered the Cowboys' historic run to the Big 12 championship and Fiesta Bowl in her first season on the job. Before arriving in Stillwater, Gina was...
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