Oklahoma State's Marcus Smart has been named the preseason National Player of the Year by Blue Ribbon College Basketball Yearbook.
Earlier this month, Smart was also named to Blue Ribbon's preseason All-America team. Also on the team were Creighton's Doug McDermott, Michigan State's Adreian Payne, Louisville's Russ Smith and Kansas' Andrew Wiggins.
“Obviously there are a lot of great players out there,” said Blue Ribbon editor Chris Dortch. “But in choosing our national player of the year, we look at more than just talent. Marcus Smart is a stat-sheet stuffer, but he also has the intangible quality of making those around him better. Everyone we spoke with about him had nothing but praise for his abilities — those that show up on the stat sheet, and those that don't.
“Typical of the responses was a text I got from VCU coach Shaka Smart, Florida coach Billy Donovan's assistant the last two summers on the USA U18 and U19 teams for which Marcus played,” Dortch continued. “I sent coach Smart a text asking him what he thought about Blue Ribbon making Marcus our player of the year. His response was short and to the point: ‘Great pick. He's a winner'.”
Smart and the Cowboys, ranked No. 12 nationally in Blue Ribbon's preseason top 25, begin practicing for the 2013-14 season on September 28.