STILLWATER — Oklahoma State made 31.6 percent of its 3-point attempts last season.
Not good enough.
Not for a team that leaned on firing from long range for nearly 33 percent of its shots. And not with strict new rules designed at opening up the offense, likely leading to more zone defenses and more open looks from the arc.
The good news — the Cowboys believe they'll be better, with work continuing Friday night in their final exhibition against Emporia State. And improvement could come from many players, including one that shouldn't surprise: Marcus Smart.
Give Smart a challenge and he's bound to get busy addressing it. And better shooting from the perimeter was a challenge he issued himself, as a key self-improvement item on the way to the NBA.
“Marcus' shot got a lot better. He's shooting the 3-ball pretty well,” said senior guard Markel Brown. “And you couldn't ask more than for you're top player to improve that much over the offseason. I think that's pretty big for this team.”
Brown was OSU's best 3-point shooter a year ago, at 36.4 percent (52 of 143). Phil Forte made the most 3s (68 of 201), but for a 33.8 percentage.
Smart shot 29 percent (38 of 131), yet showed a much better stroke during the summer, when he fired with confidence on teammates during offseason workouts and pickup games. And it has continued throughout this preseason.