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Lon Kruger on Oklahoma State trio's return to school: Good for Big 12 Conference, bad for Cowboy opponents

by Jason Kersey Modified: May 14, 2013 at 5:29 pm •  Published: May 14, 2013
OU basketball coach Lon Kruger said the Big 12 will be a better conference next season with Marcus Smart, Markel Brown and Le'Bryan Nash back at Oklahoma State.
OU basketball coach Lon Kruger said the Big 12 will be a better conference next season with Marcus Smart, Markel Brown and Le'Bryan Nash back at Oklahoma State.

TULSA — Oklahoma men’s basketball coach Lon Kruger acknowledged the Big 12’s strength was enhanced by Marcus Smart, Markel Brown and Le’Bryan Nash announcing they’d return to Oklahoma State for another season.

“Very, very good deal for the conference,” Kruger said last week at the OU Caravan in Tulsa. “Tough for all the teams that have to play against them because they’re really good.

“They did a good job this year, in taking a step. Those guys, especially, that decided to stay in school, make them that much tougher. It’ll be great for the conference but tough for all the other teams in the league.”

A true freshman last season, Smart was the Big 12 Player of the Year, and won the Wayman Tisdale Award as the best freshman in the country. He was considered a possible No. 1 overall NBA Draft selection.

OU and OSU split last year’s Bedlam games. The Sooners won 77-68 in Norman, then lost an 84-79 overtime game in Stillwater.

by Jason Kersey
OU Sports Reporter
Jason Kersey became The Oklahoman's OU football beat writer in May 2012 after a year covering high school sports and OSU recruiting. Before joining the newspaper in November 2006 as a part-time results clerk, he covered high school football for...
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