Marcus Smart Provides Oklahoma State With Intangibles
Marcus Smart’s on-court impact goes beyond the traditional stat line.
“The No. 1 thing when you watch him play,” said Oklahoma State coach Travis Ford, “you see that competitiveness, that will to win. Him diving on the floor, taking charges, playing unselfish.
“Defensively, he's an animal. He handles the ball. He passes it. He just does everything really, really well. And he really competes.”
Smart was the starting point guard for Team USA's gold medal team at the FIBA Americas U18 Championships in Brazil.
“I didn't know him at all and we were never really involved in recruiting him,” USA coach Billy Donovan said. “The only thing I knew about Marcus Smart was watching him play, that he was a gifted and talented player.
“But just being around him for that whole trip, I have not seen a guy that age with the internal makeup and the ‘it' factor like he's got. It's really, really impressive. It's a great thing to watch. It's so clear why he's going to be this great player.”
Donovan said Smart’s effort never wanes.
“He has that ability to bring out the best in other people around him,” the Florida coach said. “Every coach is teaching guys to get on the floor for loose basketballs. But if you have a guy who's a really good player doing that, it grabs everybody's attention.
“Marcus is willing to do the things that a lot of other players would not be willing to do to win. You can play him in any role, tell him what you need, and he'll give you what you need.”