Some of the chronologically advanced Oklahoma State Cowboy fans will know the name Bob Kurland. He was the star player for Mister Iba back in the mid 1940's. Bob Kurland played for the "Aggies" from 1942-1946 and he's OSU's only National Player of the Year.
But he just might have some company at the end of the upcoming basketball season. Current Cowboys star Marcus Smart is named the Preseason National Player of the Year Tuesday by the Blue Ribbon College Basketball Yearbook.
"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."
As a freshman, Smart led Oklahoma State to a 24-9 record and a trip to the NCAA Tournament. He averaged over 15.4 points, 4.2 assists and 5.8 rebounds a game.
"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'."