At the end of the 2012-13 season Oklahoma State point guard Marcus Smart surprised many who follow college basketball with his decision to return to school for his sophomore season. After winning Big 12 Rookie of the Year honors, Smart had the look of a surefire lottery pick according to many NBA scouts. However that wasn’t enough to dissuade him from playing another season in Stillwater, and his decision (along with those of Markel Brown and Le’Bryan Nash) immediately made Travis Ford’s squad one of the favorites in the Big 12.
But there’s no guarantee that Smart would make the same decision at the end of the 2013-14 campaign. In fact, during USA Basketball’s June minicamp the sophomore stated that this would be his last season at Oklahoma State. With that in mind the Cowboys needed to reel in a point guard in their 2014 recruiting class, and on Sunday that’s exactly what happened.
According to multiple outlets New Mexico JC point guard Jeff Newberry, who began his collegiate career at Ole Miss, verbally committed to attend the Big 12 school.
Newberry, who joins shooting guard Jared Terrell in Oklahoma State’s 2014 haul, chose the Cowboys over UConn and Texas Tech. In a story written by Jeff Goodman of ESPN.com, Newberry acknowledged that Smart’s status did have an impact on his decision.
Newberry didn’t play in a single game at Ole Miss, redshirting in 2011-12 before transferring to Northeast Oklahoma A&M. There, Newberry averaged 14.8 points and 4.3 assists per game with arguably his best performance coming in a 108-99 win over Eastern Oklahoma JC on February 25. In the victory Newberry accounted for 24 points (8-for-12 FG), ten assists and just one turnover.
In regards to Oklahoma State’s depth at the point guard position, this is an important commitment. With Smart seemingly headed to the next level after this season, the Cowboys will be able to pair Newberry with current freshman Stevie Clark.