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Kevin Durant on Marcus Smart: He can play in the NBA right now

OSU guard Marcus Smart is averaging 20 points and four rebounds this season. (AP Photo/Brody Schmidt) Oklahoma State's Marcus Smart is averaging 20 points and four rebounds this season. (AP Photo/Brody Schmidt)

Oklahoma City Thunder forward Kevin Durant stopped by Stillwater, Okla., last night to catch Oklahoma State guard Marcus Smart and the Cowboys play against Memphis in an early-season Top 25 battle.

He came away impressed with Smart, saying that he believes the sophomore could play in the NBA "right now."

Smart scored a career-high 39 points on 11-of-21 from the shooting and hit five 3-pointers in the Cowboys' 101-80 rout over the 11th-ranked Tigers.

"That is a tough shot to make, and that is a gutsy shot to shoot," Durant told Eric Prisbell of USA Today. "But he earned the right to take those shots. Marcus can play in the league right now. Definitely."

"He is poised. And the extra year will help him out as far as knowing the game more. I wish him good luck. I knew he could do everything pretty well. But I like his demeanor. I like how he handles his teammates. A player like him, he always can burst out and get 30 or 40 points."

JOHNSON: Marcus Smart dazzles as No. 7 Oklahoma State throttles No. 11 Memphis

Smart passed up NBA millions last season by returning to school. He is still expected to be a lottery pick if he forgoes his final two seasons of eligibility to enter the draft.

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