Good thing Marcus Smart isn't superstitious. At least when it comes to his number.
Wearing No. 43, rather than his usual 33, after a team manager left his jersey back in Stillwater, Smart changed the game late and posted another of his strong stat lines: 17 points, seven assists, eight rebounds and five steals.
“It felt weird playing with it, especially when they announced my name and it was 43,” Smart said. “As you can see, I played a very decent game in it. So superstition isn't a very big deal right now.”
It was a couple hours before the game when an OSU manager approached Smart.
“It was like, ‘Yeah, got some bad news,'” Smart said. “I'm thinking, ‘Forgot my shoes. My shorts …' No, my jersey.
“He gave me a choice. I was going to wear 35, but it was a little big. And 43 was the only one that fit.”
All's well that ends well. For the Cowboys. For Smart.
And the manager.
“He's the happiest guy in the building,” said OSU coach Travis Ford.
HAPPY HOMECOMING FOR SEVERAL COWBOYS
It was a light crowd at TCU's Daniel Meyer Coliseum, where the announced attendance of 5,723 looked more like 2,500.
And maybe half were Cowboys fans — family and friends who showed up to cheer on six OSU players who were back in the Metroplex, where they all went to high school.
Smart, Phil Forte and Mason Cox attended Flower Mound's Marcus High, while Le'Bryan Nash played at Dallas Lincoln, Leyton Hammonds at North Richland Hills and redshirting Jeffrey Carroll at Rowlett High.
Smart estimated he had 50 people on hand offering support.
“I'm a big family person, so that meant a lot,” he said. “Most of my family members were here. And they enjoyed it. They made their presence be known.”
The friendly crowd also eased Smart's first road game since his three-game suspension for shoving a fan at Texas Tech.
“Kind of eased my mind a little bit,” he said.
UP NEXT: KANSAS
The Jayhawks visit Stillwater Saturday for an 8 p.m. tip to follow a full day of activity inside Gallagher-Iba Arena.
GIA is the site for ESPN's basketball version of College GameDay.
Rece Davis, Digger Phelps and Jay Williams form the broadcast crew for the network.
Kansas clinched its 10th straight Big 12 regular season championship Monday night, beating Oklahoma 83-75 to improve to 22-6 overall and 13-2 in the Big 12.
FORD SPREADS THE LOVE
Smart, Forte and Hammonds dominated the scoring line for OSU, combining for 53 of the team's 76 points.
But Ford singled out the effort of forward Kamari Murphy, who grabbed a game-high 11 boards, made all three of his shots from the floor for six points and added a block, a steal and an assist.
“I thought Kamari Murphy was our MVP,” Ford said. “I thought he really was a warrior inside and did a lot of good things for us. May not have scored all the points or got all the glamour stuff some of the other guys got, but he played well.”