But perhaps nobody will benefit from Smart’s surprising decision more than highly-touted Douglass product Stevie Clark, a four-star combo guard who likely would have shouldered a hefty portion of the scoring load had OSU’s talented trio jumped to the professional ranks.
Instead, the sharpshooter with 28-foot range can settle in to an important, yet reduced, role as he adjusts to the college game.
And what better way to become acclimated with what awaits than facing Smart every day in practice, a 6-foot-4 bully with unmatched intensity. The kind of relentless competitor that’ll remind Clark, on a regular basis, that the days of 40-point laughers against overmatched 4A defenders are long behind him.
“It’s going to help him on the court a lot, but some of the stuff that Marcus brings off the court is going to help Stevie a lot as well,” Travis Ford said. “Stevie loves the game and is an extremely hard worker, loves the game as much as anybody, always in the gym. But Marcus is a great example for anybody on how to come to practice every single day and when I say every day, I mean every day.”
“It’s going to be great because it’ll make me a better basketball player and help me mentally,” Clark said. “It’s great to have these type of players, coming off the year they had putting Oklahoma State back on the map and then having them show us the way. Then hopefully we can keep it going after.”
Here’s some highlights of three aforementioned freshmen