Oklahoma State guard Marcus Smart has already done wonders to reestablish himself in a world that seems over-focused on this exciting class of freshmen. However, with every fantastic showing from Smart, he continues to rise up both NBA Draft boards and NCAA player of the year rankings, and that was no different than with his performance in Oklahoma State’s 97-87 victory over Purdue.
Smart shot the lights out (again) on Thanksgiving day, going 9 for 18 from the floor, 4 for 6 from the 3-point line, and 8 for 12 from the charity stripe in route to 30 points in just 30 minutes of action. His work was absolutely key in driving OSU to a 23-point halftime lead, and while they faltered a bit in the 2nd half as Purdue scored 58 points, Smart did more than enough during his somewhat limited playing time to give them the win. In addition to the 30 points, the sophomore guard grabbed 4 rebounds and dealt out 4 assists, further displaying his multi-faceted game.
In addition to Smart, the Cowboys got big-time help from Markel Brown (25 points, 6 rebounds) and former top prospect Le’Bryan Nash (16 points, 5 assists, 4 rebounds), but it’s tough to overlook Smart in the big picture. It’s not a full-on one-man show in Stillwater, but Smart’s excellence is impossible to hide, and if it continues at this rate, he’ll stay on track as the frontrunner for 2013-2014 Player of the Year.