Tahlequah Daily Press

Sports

January 18, 2014

Smart, Cowboys return to site of infamous backflip

It's necessary for an athlete to have short-term memory, whether the moment was a positive or a negative.

Memory is left to the fans. And a fan base like that at Kansas is sure to remember what happened the last time Oklahoma State ventured into Allen Fieldhouse.

While OSU winning in Lawrence for the first time since 1989 is sure to sink in from looking back at last year's win by the Cowboys, it won't be the first memory had. Instead, it will be what then-freshman Marcus Smart did after the OSU win — a backflip in the middle of James Naismith Court.

"Kansas is a tough place to play in and it's a great opportunity for us to go back there and play another great team at a great place with a great environment," Smart said. "Their crowd really backs up their team. And rightfully so, everybody knows how good Kansas is as a team — with that coaching staff and some great players."

Hearing it from the fans is nothing new for Smart. After all, a team's top player usually priority No. 1 for opposing fans to target in hopes of affecting their game.

At Kansas State, there were chants about him flopping, while the West Virginia crowd simple took pleasure in booing the future NBA Draft lottery pick.

"You just keep playing. For the most part, I get in a zone where I block it out and can't really hear it," Smart said. "You've just got to let it go. It's going to happen, you can't control it, so don't focus on something you can't control."

Kansas coach Bill Self was asked about the backflip from the OSU's star point guard, and while Self said it didn't bother him — that he was more bothered by "the fact that we played like crap" — he did give Smart some props for the flip itself.

"I watched it on tape and I thought it was beautiful form," Self said in his weekly press conference Thursday in Lawrence. "I thought he tucked just at the right time and got full extension. I thought it was very impressive."

As for what Smart remembers from the response following his post-game celebration?

"Just like any other crowd, you're going to be upset and I understand that," Smart said. "I would expect them to be upset."

Jason Elmquist is sports editor of The Stillwater News Press.

1
Text Only
Sports
Poll

What to you think of a state Legislature proposal to forbid cities from raising the minimum wage? Choose the closest to your opinion.

The federal government should set the minimum wage across the board.
States should be allowed to raise their minimum wages, but not cities.
Both states and cities should be allowed to raise their minimum wages.
Cities should be allowed to raise their mimum wages, but not states.
There should be no minimum wage at all.
Undecided.
     View Results
Press Sports Twitter Updates
Follow us on twitter
AP Video
Obama Hopeful on Ukraine, Will Watch Russians Flamingo Frenzy Ahead of Zoo Construction Crew Criticized Over Handling of Ferry Disaster Agreement Reached to Calm Ukraine Tensions Raw: Pope Francis Performs Pre-easter Ritual Raw: Bulgarian Monastery Dyes 5000 Easter Eggs Diplomats Reach Deal to Ease Tensions in Ukraine U.S. Sending Nonlethal Aid to Ukraine Military Holder: Americans Stand With KC Mourners Obama Greets Wounded Warriors Malaysia Plane: Ocean Floor Images 'Very Clear' Sparks Fly With Derulo and Jordin on New Album Franco Leads Star-studded Broadway Cast Raw: Two Lucky Kids Get Ride in Popemobile Boston Bombing Survivors One Year Later Sister of Slain MIT Officer Reflects on Bombing
Stocks