Oklahoma State basketball: Player development is an important component of OSU's success

Marcus Smart clearly triggered OSU's breakout season. But the maturation of the holdovers gave Smart a band to lead that was capable of success.
by Berry Tramel Published: March 20, 2013

Brown, who has improved his 3-point shooting by more than 10 percent points from his freshman year two seasons ago, says hard work was his ticket.

“Staying in the gym, and most of all, confidence,” Brown said. “Going out there and knowing that I can do the things that I'm capable of doing and putting it on to the court and putting it on the offseason and working hard has just all built up.”

But the NCAA allows that hard work to be overseen by coaches in individual workouts. It's a time that Ford treasures.

Ford schedules his recruiting trips around the workouts. And he makes sure they are more than just shooting drills. Ford works individually on every facet of a player's game. Defense, passing, footwork, rebounding. All of it.

“It's something I take a lot of pride in,” Ford said. “I've always done that. It's something I enjoy doing. And it helped me become a better player when I was a player, so it's something I've carried over, and I think it's very important.”

Player development will remain huge for the Cowboys. Smart isn't likely to return. Who knows about Nash and Brown? But if they're back, they need to be better. So do Phil Forte and Brian Williams and Cobbins and Kamari Murphy.

“Everybody's buying into what the coach is selling,” Cobbins said. “We're seeing that it pays off.”

Look at Kansas, a No. 1 seed again, even though Bill Self retooled with a freshman phenom (Ben McLemore) and a bunch of seniors who outside of Jeff Withey had played sparingly.

Player development could mean there is life after Marcus Smart. And player development is why there is life with him.

Berry Tramel: Berry can be reached at (405) 760-8080 or at btramel@opubco.com. He can be heard Monday through Friday from 4:40-5:20 p.m. on The Sports Animal radio network, including FM-98.1. You can also view his personality page at newsok.com/berrytramel.

Player development

At least three prominent Cowboys have shown marked improvement from year-to-year:

MARKEL BROWN

Year

PPG

FG%

3-pt%

FT%

2010-11

6.4

.394

.262

.607

2011-12

10.5

.426

.319

.732

2012-13

15.3

.438

.370

.762

LE'BRYAN NASH

Year

PPG

FG%

3-pt%

FT%

2011-12

13.3

.394

.235

.730

2012-13

14.1

.463

.208

.747

MICHAEL COBBINS

Year

PPG

FG%

FT%

RPG

2011-12

5.0

.478

.688

5.7

2012-13

6.9

.556

.707

6.2


by Berry Tramel
Columnist
Berry Tramel, a lifelong Oklahoman, sports fan and newspaper reader, joined The Oklahoman in 1991 and has served as beat writer, assistant sports editor, sports editor and columnist. Tramel grew up reading four daily newspapers — The Oklahoman,...
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