ESPN's Jay Bilas: OSU has chance to re-establish themselves and make NCAA Tournament field

Bilas ranks Big 12 and Big Ten as top two basketball conferences
by Mel Bracht Modified: February 27, 2014 at 5:43 pm •  Published: February 26, 2014

ESPN basketball analyst Jay Bilas will be part of the “College GameDay” crew in Stillwater and also call the Kansas-Oklahoma State game that night on the network. He discussed the teams and the Big 12 in a phone interview this week:

What’s your assessment of OSU?

They are good. They are very capable. They have had some adversity with Michael Cobbins and then with the whole Marcus Smart thing. It’s a great opportunity on Saturday to kind of get back in the hunt and re-establish themselves. There’s no sense looking backward. Just look forward. I was out there when they beat the tar out of Memphis. They were a top five team. It didn’t look like there was anybody they couldn’t beat.

How much has Marcus Smart hurt his draft prospects this season?

The question of his shooting ability would have been there no matter what. That’s the real issue. Is he going to be a point guard that can shoot it? He can do everything else. The way he has played the last two games is an indication of how valuable he can be. There are a number of guards in the league that aren’t great shooters. He’s big, strong. He can really defend. He can run a team. He can play in the open floor. He can finish and he can pass it. He’s got the ability to play in the NBA and be a high draft pick.

Will the pushing incident with the fan hurt him much?

No. He’s addressed it and he’ll address it in the interview process.

How do you rank the Big 12 among conferences?

I think the Big 12 and the Big Ten are the two best. Because there are only 10 teams in the Big 12, as a percentage of the league, it’s got to be the strongest. The Big 12 and the Big Ten will have the most NCAA Tournament teams given their size. And really the only thing that is probably keeping anybody from definitely saying the Big 12 has had the best year is Oklahoma State and Baylor have not performed to the level we had expected.

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by Mel Bracht
Copy Editor, Sports Media
Mel Bracht is a copy editor on the presentation desk and also covers sports media. A 1978 graduate of Indiana University, Bracht has been a print journalist for 34 years. He started his career as sports editor of the Rensselaer (Ind.) Republican...
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