If you’re wondering who it was wearing Marcus Smart’s No. 33 jersey in Gallagher-Iba Arena today, you probably aren’t alone.
Smart played about as poorly as I’ve ever seen him play. He finished with four points, four assists and three turnovers while shooting 1-for-7 from the floor and fouling out. That wasn’t even the worst of it, however. Smart repeatedly lost his cool, getting frustrated with calls that were going against him and the physical beating that he took on Saturday. In the first off, he took his frustrations out by kicking a chair on the bench. In the second half, after getting called for an offensive foul a possession before taking an elbow to the jaw, he walked off the court and could be seen on TV yelling in a back hallway.
Generally speaking, Smart is the guy that keeps his teammates from doing just that. He’s the level-headed presence on the floor that tries to prevent guys from jabbering with opponents or talking to the refs.
And despite the uncharacteristic performance, No. 11 Oklahoma State still managed to knock off West Virginia, 81-75.
The credit goes to Le’Bryan Nash, who finished with a career-high 29 points and nine boards, physically dominating the Mountaineers front line while doing the majority of his damage around the rim. He led five players in double-figures on this night, which is so important for the Pokes moving forward.
This was about as bad of a performance as you will ever seen from Smart at this level. He wasn’t alone, either, as Phil Forte managed to shoot 1-for-9 from three. I know it was at home and I know it was against West Virginia, but Oklahoma State still was able to get the win in this game.
For a team that is already missing their starting center to prove that they can win games when their all-american is struggling is huge.