Oklahoma State freshman Marcus Smart has been named the winner of the Wayman Tisdale Award, given to the nation’s top freshman basketball player.
As the national freshman of the year, Smart has led the Cowboys to a 23-7 record and a No. 14 ranking in The Associated Press Top 25 entering this weekend’s Big 12 Conference Tournament in Kansas City.
The award will be presented to Smart at the Devon Energy College Basketball Awards on April 15 at the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum.
The April 15 gala will also honor Michigan State coach Tom Izzo as the recipient of the Wayman Tisdale Humanitarian Award.
Smart joins a pair of previous USBWA National Freshman of the Year Award winners — Texas’ Kevin Durant (2007) and Kansas State’s Michael Beasley (2008) — in an exclusive group of three players to be chosen as the Big 12 Player of the Year and Freshman of the Year in the same season.
Smart was also named to the U.S. Basketball Writers’ Association’s All-District VI Team to go with selections to the All-Big 12 First Team, the Big 12 All-Defensive Team and the Big 12 All-Rookie Team.
“Our team has had a great season and Marcus has been a big part of that,” OSU coach Travis Ford said in a news release. “Marcus is one of the most competitive players I’ve ever been around. He comes ready to play every single day.
“What makes Marcus great is he’s a complete player. He’s a great offensive player as well as a great defensive player. He’s very unselfish and an unbelievable leader. I think he’s very deserving of this award, because of how hard he works and the attitude he plays with every day.
“This is an exciting award for Marcus, because of the great player and great person that Wayman Tisdale was.”
In addition to selecting Smart as the national freshman of the year, the USBWA chose four other first-year standouts for its 2013 Freshman All-America Team. Those players are UNLV’s Anthony Bennett, Kansas’ Ben McLemore, UCLA’s Shabazz Muhammad and Kentucky’s Nerlens Noel.
The Tisdale Award is named after former Sooner Wayman Tisdale, who was a three-time USBWA All-American at OU and in 1983 was the first freshman ever to be named a first-team All-American by the USBWA. Tisdale passed away in May 2009.