Current Weather
The Spy FM

Smart returns, and students erupt with cheers

Filed by KOSU News in Feature.
April 18, 2013

Click here to download audio

Either it was pouring rain outside or perhaps the best trio of players Oklahoma State University has seen on the hardwood were about to announce whether they were staying or going. Okay, so it was the latter…

Students leaned on poles, railings, each other, whatever they could find as they squeezed into the Student Union in Stillwater. All Coach Travis Ford had to do was walk to the podium to get loud cheers.

Then, the lineup. First sophomore Le’Bryan Nash:

“It took a lot. Talked to Coach Ford, talked to my family. And I decided to come back for my junior year.”

Then one hundred and nine excruciating seconds later, junior Markel Brown let loose this:

“We all came up with a decision that it was time for me to keep building on this legacy at Oklahoma State”

And finally, a little less than a minute and a half passed, and the one rumors had swirled about since the Cowboys walked off the court in Oakland after an early exit from the NCAA tournament, freshman Marcus Smart looked up and said:

“Looks like I’m coming back for my sophomore year.”

Smart, once projected as a top five pick in the upcoming NBA draft, had an opportunity to make millions of guaranteed money, because of the NBA’s payment guidelines for high draft picks.

“I’m aware of how much money I am giving up. I am aware of that, you know? A nineteen year old kid with that much money.”

But he said he couldn’t get the taste of the season ending loss to Oregon out of his mind.

“It motivated me a lot. All my life, I’ve been a winner, two back to back state championships. Come in, and we finally make the NCAA tournament. Just all my life I’ve been winning. This team, I feel like we had a lot more to accomplish. We’re a lot better team than that. That’s just not the way we wanted to go out.”

Some from the outside looking at Smart’s decision simply called it naïve, questioning if there was any upside to returning. He could get injured like Louisville’s Kevin Ware, and have a long road to recovery. And next year’s draft class is expected to be much stronger, so it could be harder to go so high and make as much guaranteed money. Students, though, were thrilled.

“Oh I’m pretty amped because obviously the rowdy is back to stay.”

Matt Kempford from Tulsa had season tickets this year…

“If it’s not packed for every Big 12 game, I’ll be disappointed.”

Next year, the NCAA Final Four is slated for Dallas. Marcus Smart’s family currently lives in Flower Mound, a suburb of the city. Smart now has a legitimate chance to play on that final weekend of the season in his own backyard.

Leave a Reply

5AM to 9AM Morning Edition

Morning Edition

For more than two decades, NPR's Morning Edition has prepared listeners for the day ahead with two hours of up-to-the-minute news, background analysis, commentary, and coverage of arts and sports.

Listen Live Now!

9AM to 10AM The Takeaway

The Takeaway

A fresh alternative in morning news, "The Takeaway" provides a breadth and depth of world, national and regional news coverage that is unprecedented in public media.

View the program guide!

10AM to 11PM On Point

On Point

On Point unites distinct and provocative voices with passionate discussion as it confronts the stories that are at the center of what is important in the world today. Leaving no perspective unchallenged, On Point digs past the surface and into the core of a subject, exposing each of its real world implications.

View the program guide!

Upcoming Events in your area (Submit your event today!)

Streaming audio and podcasts

Stream KOSU on your smartphone

Phone Streaming

SmartPhone listening options on this page are intended for many iPhones, Blackberries, etc. with low-cost software applications available to listen to our full-time web streams, both News on KOSU-1 and Classical on KOSU-2.

Learn more about our complete range of streaming services

We're perfecting the patient experience - Stillwater Medical Center