STILLWATER — All eyes were on the freshman from Texas' Flower Mound Marcus High.
Make that freshmen.
While super recruit Marcus Smart was making his Gallagher-Iba Arena debut — and playing well — Smart's prep teammate and fellow rookie Phillip Forte was leading the Cowboys to a rollicking rout of Ottawa in Oklahoma State's lone exhibition game Thursday night.
Forte, who starred alongside Smart on back-to-back Texas state title teams, fired in five 3-pointers and finished with 19 points in a 109-56 romp over the NAIA squad from Kansas.
A known shooter who won the National High School 3-point Championship over the summer, Forte hit on his first two shots from the arc and finished 5-of-10 from long range overall.
“They tell me to shoot it when I'm open,” Forte said, “so all I have to do is knock it down.”
Perhaps a sign of things to come, especially with an injury situation that seems to worsen by the day — starting forward Michael Cobbins suffered a toe injury in the game — the Cowboys fired away form the perimeter, making 15-of-31 shots from 3-point range.
Kirby Gardner made four 3s, Markel Brown three, Smart two and Christien Sager one.
While OSU had long-range sniper Keiton Page a year ago, they still ranked No. 142 nationally in 3-pointers per game, averaging 6.4 per game. Only Page attempted more than 24 on the season, with the team making 33.3 percent.
“I thought this was a team that would shoot a lot of 3s,” said Cowboys coach Travis Ford, “31 might be a high number. Might not be.
“I said it before we went to Spain, even though we're losing Keiton, I think we'll shoot even more 3s. And maybe make more.”
Forte, like Page, will get the green light.
“I told him the more shots he gets, the better off we are,” Ford said. “‘Shoot it. If you're open, shoot it.'
“That's what we're trying to do, get an open shot for a guy who can make it. And he can make 'em.”
Six Cowboys finished in double figures scoring, with Gardner matching Forte for game-high honors with 19 points, while Brown added 17, Kamari Murphy 16, Smart 13 and Le'Bryan Nash 11.
Smart, per his reputation, filled up the stat sheet, adding six rebounds, six assists and six steals without a turnover at the point.