Smart, Brown Selected In NBA Draft

Smart, Brown Selected In NBA Draft

Marcus Smart became on Thursday night the first Oklahoma State player to be a lottery pick in the NBA Draft since Bryant "Big Country" Reeves was the sixth overall selection in 1995. The 6-foot-3 point guard was selected by the Boston Celtics with the sixth pick in the 2014 NBA Draft. In addition, Markel Brown was picked in the second round by Minnesota and then traded to the Brooklyn Nets.

"We are very proud of Marcus and Markel being selected this evening in the NBA draft," said OSU head coach Travis Ford. "Marcus is seizing a rare opportunity to jump from college to the NBA early because of his exceptional talents. The past year helped him to tackle on many fronts the opportunity the NBA presents to him. It has been an exciting experience to be in New York with Marcus and his family to celebrate this achievement with them."

Smart becomes the fourth OSU player selected in the first round of the NBA Draft since 2004, joining Tony Allen (2004), Joey Graham (2005) and James Anderson (2010).

Smart averaged 18 points with 5.9 rebounds and 4.8 assists last season as a sophomore for the Cowboys. The 20-year-old had made it known even before the 2013-14 season that it would be his final year of playing college basketball and that he would opt to enter the NBA Draft.

The Celtics lacked depth at the point guard position this past season, especially after four-time All-Star Rajon Rondo was injured. They relied on shooting guard Avery Bradley and undrafted rookie Phil Pressey when Rondo was unable to play.

Rondo only played in 30 games during the 2013-14 season, averaging 11.7 points and 9.8 assists. He is entering the final year of his contract with the Celtics.

The 227-pound Smart impressed NBA scouts during his two years at Oklahoma State, including his physical play which he believes will benefit him with the Celtics.

"I like to think I have an NBA-ready body," he said. "I have a good basketball IQ ... I'm a great team player and I like to win."

Brown, a senior who 17.2, 5.3 rebounds and 2.9 assists in earning second team All-Big 12 recognition for the second year in a row, was selected with the 44th overall pick by the Timberwolves. He was then traded to the Nets.

Brown was actually the first pick of the draft for the Nets, who didn't have a pick in either round heading into Thursday. In addition to purchasing the 44th pick (and Brown) from the Timberwolves, the Nets also got San Diego State guard Xavier Thames (No. 59) and Baylor forward Cory Jefferson (No. 60).

"We always want to keep adding athletic players," said Nets general manager Billy King. "I look at him as a combo guard."

Ford said, "As proud as I am of what Markel Brown achieved on the court, I am more proud of what he achieved in the classroom by earning his degree this year.

"I am honored to have coached these two young men and appreciate what they did to elevate our program at Oklahoma State on the national scene. Our program is in a good position for the future, thanks in large part to Marcus and Markel.

"I personally wish Marcus and Markel only the best of success, and look forward to cheering for them in the years ahead. They're welcome back to Gallagher-Iba Arena any time. I am confident they'll be exceptional players at the next level and will make their teams even better as they did at Oklahoma State," Ford added.

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