OSU continues to wait for the decisions facing its Big 3 – Marcus Smart, Markel Brown and Le’Bryan Nash – all weighing options on whether to declare for the NBA Draft or return for another season.
The decisions will greatly influence expectations for the Cowboys next season.
Smart figures to be most enticed, as he’s at or near the top in most of the various mock drafts. And that’s a lot of money to consider, not to mention the realization of any basketball player’s ultimate goal.
So, he’s gone, right?
Not so fast.
OK, he’s probably gone. Still, Marcus Smart is different.
Different in terms of what he’s experienced in life and what he expects in life. Smart lived through a lot of difficult times and sadness as a youngster and is now enjoying the happiest days of his life. The Cowboys have a great chemistry, with him at the center of that. His mother can easily travel to many of the Big 12 locales, with longtime family friend Phil Forte Sr. driving her on most trips.
And Smart and the younger Forte are roommates and best friends in a relationship that dates back to third grade.
If Smart returns, the Cowboys enter next season as the Big 12 favorite and a national title contender.
And Smart is all about winning, which won’t come easy any time soon for most of the teams in position to draft him early.
All that said, a lot of folks think Smart – or any player – would be crazy to come back in such a spot.
Blake Griffin, who once sat in a similar position, and returned to Oklahoma to become the National Player of the Year, play another season with his brother and make a strong run in the NCAA Tournament thinks otherwise. Griffin believes college players shouldn’t rush their move to the NBA.
Check out Griffin’s comments in an interview with CBSSports’ Jeff Goodman a month ago.
Smart’s decision heavily impacts OSU, as does those of Brown and Nash.
Insiders don’t expect the Cowboys to lose all three. And they believe there’s a chance – a chance – that all return.
It should be interesting.