It was not a surprise when Oklahoma State's Marcus Smart announced Monday, April 7, 2014, that he would enter the 2014 NBA draft. Last year after an amazing freshman year in which he was named an All American and was assured to be a high first round pick, there was a lot more anticipation about his decision.
He said earlier in the year this would be his last season in Stillwater, and the announcement just made it official. He surprised some by coming back for his sophomore season, but with a lot of firepower returning, he felt the team had a chance to be very good. The team struggled during the year and lost early in the NCAA tournament.
"Marcus has had an incredible impact on our program," OSU head coach Travis Ford said. "He has been a joy to coach, and we've enjoyed having him on our team. He is going to have a terrific career for a long time in the NBA. No matter what team he ends up with, they are going to get a great player and, more importantly, a special person. We wish him all the best, and Marcus will always be a Cowboy."
Smart garnered All-America honors from both the Associated Press and the National Association of Basketball Coaches following his sophomore season. He became the first OSU player ever to twice be named an All-American by the NABC. He led the Cowboys in scoring (18.0 ppg), assists (4.8 apg) and steals (2.9 spg) while propelling Oklahoma State to the NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Championship for a second-consecutive season.
Smart rewrote the OSU record book in regards to his defensive prowess. A two-time Big 12 All-Defensive team selection, he established a school record for steals in a game with nine vs Utah Valley on Nov. 12. He tied the school record for steals in a season with 99 as a freshman, and finished his two-year career with 189 steals, the second-most in school history. He averaged 2.94 steals per game in his career, also a school record.
Smart joined John Lucas as the only players in school history to record a pair of 500-point, 100-assist seasons. He is just the second player in school history to surpass the 1,000-point milestone in his sophomore season, joining James Anderson. Smart became the first player in NCAA Tournament history to record 20 points, 10 rebounds, five assists and five steals in a game (finished with 23 points, 13 rebounds, seven assists and six steals vs Gonzaga). He nearly recorded a triple-double with 16 points, 10 rebounds and nine assists at Kansas.
"I've had a wonderful two years at Oklahoma State, and I wouldn't trade them for anything," Smart said. "I want to thank Coach Ford, the coaches, my teammates and the OSU fans for a fantastic college career. I feel like this is the best time for me to open a new chapter in my life, and fulfill one of my life-long dreams, which is playing in the NBA."