In the midst of a struggling season for the Oklahoma State basketball team, it’s always interesting to see how past Cowboys are faring at the next level.
Take notes James Harden, you could learn something from Marcus Smart. The former Big 12 Player of the Year is proving why he was worth the lottery pick. At 6-4/220 pounds, Smart is making himself known throughout the league as one of the toughest defenders. The second-year point guard is averaging over a steal per game, and is making headlines night in and night out for stout defense and some ridiculously athletic plays. On the offensive side, Smart is contributing nine points per game to go along with 2.7 assists and 3.5 rebounds. Smart is coming off the bench for Boston behind Isaiah Thomas, who is putting up insane numbers. Smart is in his second year of a three year contract and it will be interesting to see if the Celtics can keep both Thomas and Smart in the future. If not, the Celtics will probably stick with Thomas, but Smart wouldn't be out of a job for long.
The incredibly athletic and high-rising Markel Brown isn’t having as much success as his former collegiate teammate. We all know what Brown can do when he gets into open space, but his jaw dropping athleticism hasn’t resulted in NBA success. Averaging just under three points per game, Brown has seen a dramatic decrease in his minutes. During his rookie season, Brown averaged over 16 minutes per game and started 29 games for the Brooklyn Nets. Now Brown is barely getting over 10 minutes of playing time and has only started three times. Brown is the direct backup to Yugoslavia native Bojan Bogdanovic, who is scoring 10 points per game and playing 25 minutes as well. The potential is definitely there, but until Brown can find more way to contribute, he’ll be seeing a lot more of the bench.
Also a former Big 12 Player of the Year, veteran Tony Allen is still finding success in the NBA. Allen was part of the 2004 Oklahoma State team that won the regular season title, the Big 12 tournament title, and advanced all the way to the Final Four. After starting his career in Boston, Allen has been with the Memphis Grizzlies since 2010. The 11th year veteran is averaging six points per game along with just under four rebounds. Allen never had a breakout year, but has been consistently good enough to keep his job. He is considered one of the best defenders in the NBA, and continues to force some of the league's best scorers to struggle under his watch. For his career, Allen is averaging eight points per contest and 3.3 rebounds.
The 2010 Big 12 Player of the Year is still grinding. James Anderson, who averaged 24 points a game his junior year at OSU, isn’t quite living up to his college hype. The former first round pick is in his fourth year and is currently playing for Sacramento. Anderson had the best year of his career last season with the 76ers ,where he scored over 10 a game to go along with three rebounds. Now, in his first year with the Kings, Anderson is averaging just 2.5 points per game and just over a rebound per contest. Anderson was drafted by San Antonio with the 20th pick, where he played just two seasons with the Spurs.