NORMAN — Decked in bright orange Oklahoma State University polos, Marcus Smart, Markel Brown and Le’Bryan Nash announced in front of a large crowd of OSU students in the atrium of the student union that the trio would return to Stillwater next season.
The biggest shocker of the three was easily Smart, who was projected to be a top 5 pick in the NBA Draft by most experts. The freshman point guard from Flower Mound, Texas, who won the Big 12 Conference Player and Freshman of the Year Award, received a resounding response for the OSU faithful on hand — and made sure to address those criticizing his decision to return.
“I am aware of how much money I am giving up (by not going to the NBA). It’s a lot of money, but I feel like I made the right decision,” Smart said. “I feel like making that decision and giving up that much money showed me the true colors of some people in my life and the people close to me. It showed the true colors of how they really think and how they really feel of me. I think I made the right decision and go Pokes.”
News of the trio’s expected return broke late Tuesday night, leaving little suspense for Wednesday’s announcement. Because of that, Brown decided to be a little playful when making his official announcement.
“Man, it’s been a long year. It’s been a great year playing with these guys, been a long journey. I don’t know what to say,” Brown said. “I’ve had the time to talk to my family, talk to my grandma, my uncles and we all came up with the decision that it was time for me to ... keep building on this legacy here at Oklahoma State.”