and the award for Most Over-Blown College Basketball Story of the Day goes to..... Marcus Smart, and Oklahoma State!
Immediately following the buzzer and with a mass of students at their backs, Smart told ESPN's Shannon Spake, "Before the game, the coaches showed us a quote of Bill Self saying he was coming here cutting down our nets, and he was gonna win it outright in Stillwater. We couldn’t let that happen in our house, so I just knew I had to keep pushing until the end."
It's not uncommon for coaches to use quotes from opposing players and coaches to help motivate a team, so what the big deal?
It appears Coach Self didn't actually say that.
"I don’t know where Marcus got his information, but it was totally inaccurate. I’ve never said anything about cutting down nets or anything like that. I never said anything about cutting down nets in their building." Coach Bill Self said to the Lawrence Journal-World. "Strange … we’ve won the league 10 years in a row. I don’t know if we’ve even cut down nets at home. I’d never disrespect another program, especially my alma mater, by doing anything like that. It’s disappointing that was said. Certainly he obviously had some bad information however he received it."
That's all it took for at least a few to lose their minds.
Add liar to Marcus Smart's resume of bad traits... Self says he didn't talk about cutting down the nets in Stillwater http://t.co/Swh0v48vrW— Rock Chalk Blog (@RockChalkBlog) March 3, 2014
Liar is a little dramatic, and frankly, a rush to judgement. Lying implies Smart intentionally made the whole thing up. He didn't. What really happened is far less sensational.
Travis Ford shed some light on the issue on Monday in the Big 12 Coaches Teleconference, "Marcus equated (celebrate) with cutting down nets."
There you have it, a simple misunderstanding. Considering the heat of the moment, and the quote in question, it's understandable.
From Fox Sports Kansas City, "I told them we'd do (the presentation) if we won it outright," the coach said. "So, we'll hopefully celebrate in Stillwater on Saturday."
Self elaborated on the comment via the Journal-World "Sure it would have been nice to have an ‘in-locker room celebration’ had we won the game."
Whether or not Bill Self was talking about a locker room celebration or something more, we will never know, but this tweet from ESPN's Holly Rowe sure seems to indicate something was in the works.