Tahlequah Daily Press

April 17, 2013

OSU hoops trio to return next season


CNHI

— STILLWATER — Three Oklahoma State University men's basketball standouts announced they will stay at the university for another season during a 12:30 p.m. Wednesday press conference at Student Union.

All-American guard Marcus Smart, swingman LeBryan Nash and guard Markel Brown will return for the Cowboys, which finished with a 24-9 record after falling to the University of Oregon 68-55 in the second round of the NCAA Championships. The Pokes finished third in the Big 12 during the regular season and reached the semifinals of the conference tournament where they lost to Kansas State 68-57.

"I'm a Cowboy at heart. It looks like I'm coming back for my sophomore year," Smart said."I'm aware of how much money I am giving up. A19-year old kid with that much money. It's a lot of money, but I feel like I made the right decision. Go Pokes!"

Smart, who will be a sophomore, was the Pokes leading scorer averaging 15.4 points per game. The point guard dished out 139 assists and 110 turnovers. He recorded 99 steals and  averaged 5.8 rebounds a game. He was selected to many All-America and Big 12 Conference teams. He was the Big 12 Player of the Year and its Freshman of the Year. He also was named to the All-Big 12 first team. He received the Wayman Tisdale Award Monday as the nation's top freshmen player of the 2012-2013 season.

He was projected to be a top 5 pick in the NBA Draft.

Nash, who will be a junior, averaged 14 points per game — third best on the team. He had 59 assists, 20 steals and 86 turnovers. Nash was picked for the All-Big 12 third team. Nash was Big 12 Freshman of the Year for the 2011-2012 season.

"We need to get Gallagher back jumping," Brown said.

Brown, who will be a senior, averaged 15.3 points per game — second on the team. He finished with 80 assists, 26 blocks and 33 steals. Brown was selected to the All-Big 12 second team.

All three players thanked the OSU fans for their support.