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OSU Hoops: Love For Smart Growing

by John Helsley Modified: April 22, 2013 at 6:30 pm •  Published: February 14, 2013
Marcus Smart's toughness and leadership are but one reason he's rising on draft boards.
Marcus Smart's toughness and leadership are but one reason he's rising on draft boards.

Hate to break your heart on Valentine’s Day, or at least play a part in delivering a Cowboys hoops version of a “Dear John Letter,” but…

Dear OSU fans, Marcus Smart may be leaving you soon.

And while you may have already started coming to grips with the concept, as his talents surely project to the NBA and many analysts have suggested he’s a sure lottery pick, still, you hoped the relationship might endure, for another year or so, at least.

I, too, wondered if Smart might prefer one more year of school, to hang with his pal Phil Forte and lead a Cowboys club that would be a legitimate Final Four contender, while continuing to hone his skills.

But ESPN analyst Chad Ford suggests the NBA Draft may present Smart an offer he can’t refuse: the No. 1 overall pick.

Gulp.

Here’s an excerpt from Ford’s love letter to Smart, found here in his latest listing of Top 30 pro prospects. Ford currently has Smart at No. 4, but seemingly with a bullet.

Smart is coming off some of the best games of his short career the past few weeks. He was awesome in Lawrence knocking off the Jayhawks. He carried the Cowboys on his back in crunch time and delivered an incredibly rare home loss to KU. While he might not be the quickest player or the best shooter, his toughness, leadership ability and his NBA strength are all very appealing to NBA scouts. Not only is he now the undisputed top point guard prospect on our board, he’s also got an outside shot of going No. 1 overall if the team with the first pick in the draft really needs a point guard.

If you haven’t fully appreciated Smart yet – and attendance so far at Gallagher-Iba says some of you are slow to the party – you better get some love in now, while you can.

Smart may just be leading the Cowboys to a special season, with OSU now tied for first in the Big 12, riding a six-game conference winning streak and looking for more with one of the more anticipated Bedlam clash’s in a long time coming to GIA Saturday.

Who knows, maybe your love can show him a reason to return. The kind of love that used to be showered on Big Country Little Joe and Desmond and the Graham Brothers, the love that has waned in recent years.

Sure wouldn’t hurt. Wouldn’t hurt the Cowboys’ chances, either.

In the meantime, enjoy what you’ve got. Remember, it’s better to have loved and lost than to have never loved at all.

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by John Helsley
OSU Reporter Sr.
John Helsley grew up in Del City, reading all the newspapers and sports magazines he could get his hands on. And Saturday afternoons, when the Major League Game of the Week was on, he'd keep a scorecard for the game. So the sports appeal was was...
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