MuskogeePhoenix.com, Muskogee, OK

July 25, 2013

Report: Smart to depart in 2014


Phoenix wire report

— Oklahoma State point guard Marcus Smart’s 2013-14 season will be his last as a Cowboy, according to a Yahoo Sports report.

According to the report, Smart said that barring injury he will enter and stay in the 2014 NBA draft after next season. He was projected to be a possible No. 1 pick in the June draft but opted to return to OSU.

Yahoo reported that Smart told OSU athletic department officials that he plans to go to the NBA after this season.

“It’s safe to say that if, by the grace of God I’m healthy and everything, this will be my last year at Oklahoma State,” Smart said after USA Basketball’s mini-camp practice Tuesday at UNLV. “Nothing will change my mind on that. [Oklahoma State] understands. They didn’t figure I was coming back this year. They were just as surprised as everyone else.”

Oklahoma State sports information associate Mike Noteware said Wednesday that he could not confirm that Smart had spoken with coaches, who were on recruiting trips.

Smart surprised the OSU community by deciding against declaring for the draft after his freshman season. He averaged 15.4 points, 5.8 rebounds and 4.2 assists during his freshman season with Oklahoma State. During the USA Basketball camp, he is playing against two former NBA Rookies of the Year in Kyrie Irving and Damian Lillard, as well as starting point guards Ty Lawson and Jrue Holiday.

Smart told Yahoo his play here has given him a boost of confidence that he can “compete against anyone in the country.”