"Obviously there are a lot of great players out there," said Blue Ribbon’s long-time editor Chris Dortch. "But in choosing our national player of the year, we look at more than just talent. Marcus Smart is a stat-sheet stuffer, but he also has the intangible quality of making those around him better. Everyone we spoke with about him had nothing but praise for his abilities — those that show up on the stat sheet, and those that don’t.
"Typical of the responses was a text I got from VCU coach Shaka Smart, Florida coach Billy Donovan’s assistant the last two summers on the USA U18 and U19 teams for which Marcus played," Dortch continued. "I sent coach Smart a text asking him what he thought about Blue Ribbon making Marcus our player of the year. His response was short and to the point: 'Great pick. He’s a winner.'"
Earlier this month, Smart was also listed on Blue Ribbon's preseason All-America team, along with Creighton's Doug McDermott, Adreian Payne of Michigan State, Louisville's Russ Smith, and Andrew Wiggins of Kansas.
Smart and the Cowboys are ranked No. 12 nationally in Blue Ribbon's preseason top 25. They begin practice for the 2013-14 season on Saturday, September 28.