I wrote about Marcus Smart’s big game against Texas for Thursday’s paper.
The sophomore was superb, giving the Cowboys just what they needed from their unquestioned rudder. It was another of those will-your-team efforts we’ve grown so accustomed to with Smart. Look at the numbers again from the 87-74 win that confirmed Smart as the Big 12′s best player and recast him in the national player of the year race:
1 blocked shot
And in my reporting, I may have omitted one of Smart’s most impressive stats of the night:
0 turnovers. Zero.
In digging for positives from his performance, I looked in all the usual places, but somehow skimmed over the typically negative category of turnovers. Except Smart’s play — “locked in,” Travis Ford called it — made the turnover line on the stat sheet a major plus.
Smart commanded the game, had the ball in his hands for much of the night on OSU’s offensive end and never turned it over.
And that’s what the Cowboys need from Smart the rest of the way.
Now, he may not always score so much or crash the boards so effectively or handle the ball so flawlessly. Such complete games are hard to come by. Yet for this team to be at it’s best in this Michael Cobbins-less landscape, which has left OSU vulnerable, it needs Smart to play like the best player on the floor every time out, impacting games in every way and standing strongly at the ship’s wheel, directing the Cowboys through rough and smooth waters alike.