I commend student athletes who accept their role as a student comes first and not an athlete, but can your draft stock be hurt because you choose to enjoy your college experience rather than cash in on your talent for the dollars you can potentially make. Marcus Smart starting SG for the Oklahoma State Cowboys, would have been a lottery pick had he submitted his name for the previous NBA draft. He returned for all the right reasons, however it may be a decision he just might regret.
Marcus Smart has struggled to find the form that saw him named Big 12 conference player of the year, freshman of the year award and be names to the pre-season all American list. The recent performances of the Cowboys coupled with his own struggles may see him fall in the pecking order come draft day if he decides to enter after this year.
Oklahoma State finished last year losing to the Oregon Ducks in the NCAA tournament with an overall record of 24-8. Smart averaged 15.4 points per game, 5.8 rebounds per game, and 4.2 assist per game and led the Big 12 in steals where he recorded 99 and averaged 3.0 per game. This season is a different story however, the cowboys are struggling currently with a 16-7 record and 4-6 in the big conference it’s easy to say the team and Smart are not performing to expectations. The frustrations has been visible in the otherwise reserved Smart. Twice on Jan. 25 he kicked a chair on the sidelines in a game against West Virginia, more recently Smart got into an altercation with a Texas Tech fan who he alleges directed a racial slur at him.
Now personally I don’t think these recent events should hurt his draft stock, but if I’m being realistic it just may hurt him. Players are held to a higher standard unfortunately, and regardless of what might have been said Smart should have known better than to react, after all he has a lot more to lose than the fan.