To say his decision was unexpected would be an understatement. Smart was more or less assured of being a lottery pick had he turned pro. Instead, he is staying in school for what is sure to be the most anticipated Oklahoma State basketball season in recent memory.
Smart’s return will make such an impact that many now consider Oklahoma State the favorite to win the Big 12 next season.
With that in mind, here is a look at how I would vote if my preseason Big 12 basketball poll was due today:
1. Oklahoma State
Smart, Le’Bryan Nash and Markel Brown were three of the most talented players in the Big 12 last season. Just think what they could accomplish together next season. The Cowboys return the Big 12′s Player of the Year in Smart, a talented forward in Nash and one of the conference’s most underrated scorers in Brown. And the only key contributor they lose is Philip Jurick. Some will doubt Oklahoma State because of underachieving coach Travis Ford, but the Cowboys have to be considered the preseason favorites with so much returning talent.