Marcus Smart (right) will enter the NBA draft after spending two seasons at Oklahoma State. (Peter G. Aiken/Getty Images Sport)
Oklahoma State sophomore point guard Marcus Smart has declared for the 2014 NBA draft.
After surprising some observers by returning for a second season with the Cowboys even though he was projected as a 2013 lottery pick, Smart told The Oklahoman in an interview Monday that he is now ready to turn pro and that he has signed with a Wasserman Media Group agent.
“I had a great season here at Oklahoma State,” Smart told the newspaper. “It’s weird, because I didn’t go to the NBA draft last year, I chose to come back – which I do not regret at all. A lot of people say I made the wrong decision. But who are they to tell me what I should have done? It’s me, not them. I believe I made the right decision. I get to do what I love to do.”
Smart, 20, averaged 18 points, 5.9 rebounds and 4.8 assists in 32.7 minutes per game this season, earning All-Big 12 honors. He tallied 23 points, 13 rebounds and seven assists in Oklahoma State's first-round loss to Gonzaga in the NCAA tournament. His sophomore year was marred by a three-game suspension that followed an incident with a heckling Texas Tech fan. As a freshman, Smart took home Second Team All-American, Big 12 Player of the Year, and All-Big 12 honors.
Sports Illustrated’s Chris Mannix placed Smart at No. 6 on his latest big board.
Smart's strong game (23 points, 13 rebounds, seven assists) in a tournament loss to Gonzaga capped an impressive post-suspension eight-game stretch that reminded league executives just how much potential the sophomore guard possesses. A bulldog defender and physical slasher, Smart still needs to work on -- and perhaps reconstruct -- his jumper, but his strengths far outweigh his weaknesses. It will be surprising if Smart isn't the first point guard off the board.