Things have gone from bad to worse for the Oklahoma State Cowboys. After starting the season 15-2 and in the top-ten of the national polls, the Cowboys have now lost four in a row and five of their last six. However, Sunday night things boiled over the top when their All-American Marcus Smart went into the crowed and shoved a fan in their 65-61 loss to Texas Tech.
Smart was projected to be a potential lottery pick in this past years NBA Draft. However, he decided to turn down the opportunity and come back to Oklahoma State for his sophomore season. During the campaign, Smart ranks first on the team with 17.5 points and 4.3 assists per game, and second with 5.7 rebounds per contest.
With the Cowboys down to the Texas Tech Raiders with just six seconds left, Smart fouled Jaye Crockett on a dunk attempt. In the process, Smart propelled out of bounds and into the crowed. What seemed like a common event for a college basketball game quickly escalated as Smart turned around, approached a fan and shoved him. Though there are no rules for a player interacting with a fan, Smart was given a technical and the game quickly slipped even further out of reach for the Cowboys as they suffered their fourth loss in a row.
After the game on Saturday night, the Big 12 announced that Smart would then be suspended for the next three games for the Cowboys. This couldn’t come at a worse time considering who they play during that stretch. First the Cowboys will head to Lubbock, where they’ll take on #15 Texas. And despite the fact that the Cowboys already beat the Longhorns once this year, things don’t look nearly as optimistic with Smart sitting and Texas’ current winning streak. After Texas, they’ll play in-state rival #21 Oklahoma, who happens to be the team that started the Cowboys current slide with an 88-76 win on January 27th. And finally, for Smart’s last suspended game, Oklahoma will head back to Texas to play Baylor. Baylor is just 2-8 in the Big 12, but one of those wins came against the Cowboys on February 1st.
The current slide is obviously frustrating for the entire Oklahoma State team. Though it will be interesting to see how the Marcus Smart situation affects the team in the coming games. A few more loses and we could be looking at Oklahoma State not even making the tournament in March. That could also have huge implications on Smart’s draft stock, assuming he leaves for the NBA after this season. And what we should also keep our eye on is if this is the end of this story or if we will hear from the fan that was pushed again in the coming future. All players should pay close attention to what can happen when a collegiate athlete goes into the stands, with what is about to happen with Marcus Smart and how it’ll affect the Cowboys.
The Cowboys currently sit at 15/1 odds to win the NCAA Championship this season. Though that could all drastically change within a matter of a week or two.