Oklahoma State freshman guard Marcus Smart has decided not to enter the NBA draft and will instead continue his collegiate career next season, according to multiple reports.
Yahoo! Sports and The Oklahoman both reported Tuesday that Smart will announce that he is returning to Oklahoma State for his sophomore season on Wednesday, passing up the chance to potentially be a top-five pick in this year's draft.
SI.com's Chris Mannix had Smart ranked No. 3 on his latest Big Board.
Teams were disappointed not to get a longer look at Smart in the tournament, where the Cowboys lost to Oregon in their first game. Smart's final line (14 points, nine rebounds, five steals, four assists) was solid, and several NBA teams love his athleticism, awareness and bulldog defense. He will need to improve his three-point shot (29 percent), but with the NBA landscape dominated by big, physical playmakers, Smart has potential.
Smart, 19, averaged 15.4 points, 5.8 rebounds, 4.2 assists and 3.0 steals for the Cowboys, who were upset by Oregon in their first game of the NCAA tournament. He shot 40.4 percent from the field and 29.0 percent from deep for the season, earning Big 12 Player of the Year, All-Big 12 and second-team AP All-American honors.
A Texas native, Smart is listed at 6-foot-4 and 225 pounds. He was ranked No. 3 on DraftExpress.com’s top 100 and No. 2 on Chad Ford’s top 100 at ESPN Insider before his decision. The decision comes as a surprise: Smart is the only player listed among the top 11 players on Mannix's Big Board to decide to return to school. He now moves into a loaded 2014 draft field that includes blue-chippers Andrew Wiggins, Jabari Parker, Julius Randle, Aaron Gordon, Andrew Harrison and Aaron Harrison, among others.