Oklahoma State basketball: Cowboys' future hinges on underclassmen's decisions

OSU's current situation is unique, with Marcus Smart, Markel Brown and Le'Bryan Nash all considering their professional options. And their decisions figure to heavily impact the Cowboys' outlook for 2013-14.
by John Helsley Published: March 24, 2013

Oklahoma State's near future hinges for the first time in, well … ever on the decision of multiple pro prospects.

The Cowboys have had underclassmen ponder jumps to the NBA before. Most recently James Anderson, who skipped his senior season to enter the draft in 2010. JamesOn Curry jumped too, albeit unwisely.

Both left voids, with Anderson's early exit followed by a two-year NCAA Tournament drought.

Yet OSU's current situation is unique, with Marcus Smart, Markel Brown and Le'Bryan Nash all considering their professional options. And their decisions figure to heavily impact the Cowboys' outlook for 2013-14.

If all hands are on deck, which appears a long shot considering Smart's lofty draft projections — as high as No. 2 overall — OSU enters next season as the definitive Big 12 favorite and a legitimate Final Four contender.

If all go, a rebuild is in order.

Something in between offers something different still, with the various scenarios offering multiple other forecasts.

So clearly, OSU's drama didn't end with Thursday's loss to Oregon.

“If we all do come back,” Nash said, “it'll be scary.”

After the NCAA setback, Nash seemed pretty intent on returning. And it makes sense, as he's currently listed no better than a second-round pick in the draft.

A sophomore, Nash talked about the strong nucleus that returns regardless of the possible pro defections, plus another strong recruiting class.

“Hopefully we'll get another season like we had this year, but with a different outcome,” he said.

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by John Helsley
OSU Reporter Sr.
John Helsley grew up in Del City, reading all the newspapers and sports magazines he could get his hands on. And Saturday afternoons, when the Major League Game of the Week was on, he'd keep a scorecard for the game. So the sports appeal was was...
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