The accolades keep rolling in for Oklahoma State sophomore guard Marcus Smart.
Smart was tabbed as the USA Today Preseason Player of the Year, as announced Thursday. The 6-foot-4 Smart headlines USA Today’s All-America team that includes just one upperclassman in Creighton senior forward Doug McDermott. Freshmen Jabari Parker (F, Duke), Julius Randle (PF/C, Kentucky) and Andrew Wiggins (G/F, Kansas) join Smart on the five-man preseason list.
Here’s what USA Today had to say about Smart:
“Smart surprised nearly everyone by saying no to the NBA and returning to Stillwater for another season. Considered a lock to be a lottery pick (this year or next, even with an expected strong draft), Smart impresses on both ends of the court. His stats from last season were eye-popping: He scored 15.4 points, dished out 4.2 assists, had 3.0 steals and grabbed 5.8 rebounds as a freshman in the Big 12. Look for big numbers once again, and look for the Cowboys to potentially break Kansas’s nine-year Big 12 regular-season title streak.”
Smart has been named preseason player of the year by USA Today, the United States Basketball Writers Association and Blue Ribbon Yearbook. The Cowboys open the regular season Friday against Mississippi Valley State (7 p.m.) at Gallagher-Iba Arena in Stillwater.
ESPN.com’s Fran Fraschilla puts OSU in a select group:
Almost put Virginia in my Final Four as dark horse but I chickened out. Went with KU, Duke, UK and Oklahoma State. Who had Wichita in ’13?
— Fran Fraschilla (@franfraschilla) November 7, 2013