Smart's impact not found on stat sheet
October, 15, 2013
By Jeff Goodman | ESPN Insider
William Purnell/Icon SMIBig 12 coaches selected Marcus Smart as the conference's preseason Player of the Year.STILLWATER, Okla. -- Numbers don’t tell the entire story. Forget about the 29 percent shooting from beyond the arc. Discount the dismal 1.2-to-1 assist-to-turnover ratio.
Marcus Smart's contributions can’t be accurately assessed by his stats. The best way to evaluate his impact? Victories.
“He’s just a winner,” Florida coach Billy Donovan said after coaching him overseas in the summer of 2012.
Oklahoma State won 15 games two seasons ago without Smart. The Cowboys won 24 in 2012-13 with him and finished just a game out of the Big 12 regular-season title.
Smart could have gone the NBA route, almost certainly a high-lottery selection and maybe even the No. 1 overall pick. Instead, he decided to return to Stillwater.
“I flipped over 100 times with the decision,” Smart admitted. “But I wasn’t sure I was ready.”
Smart said he had second thoughts after spurning the NBA, sitting alone at night wondering how he could say no to millions, somewhere in the neighborhood of $3-4 million this season.
“Did I make the right decision?” Smart said. “But you can’t miss anything you never had. I wasn’t born or raised into money. If it’s meant to be, it’s meant to be.”