Big 12 player of the year Marcus Smart says he will return for his sophomore season at Oklahoma State, bucking a trend of one-and-done prospects across college basketball.
Saying he's a "Cowboy at heart," Smart said Wednesday that some believe he's making a mistake by passing up the chance to leave early for the NBA and the money that comes with it. The team's second- and third-leading scorers, Markel Brown and Le'Bryan Nash, joined Smart at a news conference at OSU's student union to announce they'd all be back.
Smart is the top prospect of them all, considered a likely top-five NBA draft pick. He averaged a team-best 15.4 points and 4.2 assists while leading the Cowboys to the NCAA tournament, where they lost to Oregon in their tourney opener.
HARDAWAY LEAVING MICHIGAN
Michigan guard Tim Hardaway Jr. is leaving the Wolverines early for the NBA draft.
The 6-foot-6 junior announced his decision Wednesday. He is the second Michigan player to declare for early entry to the draft this year. National player of the year Trey Burke announced his departure Sunday.
Burke and Hardaway helped lead the Wolverines to their first Final Four appearance since 1993. Michigan lost to Louisville in the national title game.
There's been no announcement yet on the futures of Mitch McGary and Glenn Robinson III, two talented freshmen who could also leave Michigan for the NBA.
Hardaway averaged 14.5 points per game this season and started all 107 games he played during his three-year Michigan career.