Marcus Smart

Marcus Smart surprisingly (foolishly?) returning to Oklahoma State


Marcus Smart will return to Oklahoma State for his sophomore season, according to John Helsley of The Oklahoman.

Smart’s decision is rather curious. He nearly certainly would have been a top-10 pick and had No. 1 overall potential this year. The point guard needs work – especially his jump shot and his ability to take care of the ball, which are both a big deal at his position – but his athleticism is tantalizing. Especially considering next year’s draft is projected to be better than this year’s, it’s difficult to see how Smart will make himself into a higher pick.

Maybe he likes college, and if so, good for him. But NBA decision makers will have sky high expectations for Smart next season, and his stock has a lot more room to fall than rise.

James Michael McAdoo also announced he’ll return to North Carolina for his junior season. A year ago, many considered McAdoo a top 10 pick. But by returning to school and not progressing as much as scouts had hoped, McAdoo sunk to fringe-first-round levels. Now, he’s stuck (unless he too just really enjoys college) at North Carolina for yet another year.

It’s a lesson I hope Smart considered when making his decision.

Khris Middleton dunks, Jimmy Butler can’t stop him (VIDEO)

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Khris Middleton has more expectations and more pressure on him after a breakout season in Milwaukee, followed by him getting him PAID this summer.

Well, he looked pretty good on this play against the Bulls, making the steal then throwing down despite Jimmy Butler‘s efforts to stop him.

Middleton finished with 10 points on 5-of-7 shooting for the Bucks. However, Butler had the last laugh as he went off for 23 points on 12 shots and led the Bulls to the (meaningless) preseason win.

Somebody looks comfortable: Paul George drops 20 in first quarter

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Paul George‘s first experience starting as a power forward was going up against Anthony Davis — not just one of the best power forwards in the game, one of the handful of best players in the game period. That didn’t go well for George, and he wasn’t happy about it.

His second experience was in another preseason game Tuesday, going up against the Pistons and their four, Ersan İlyasova. He’s not quite as intimidating.

George scored 20 points on 7-of-8 shooting, 4-of-5 on threes — and that was just the first quarter (you can see it all in the video above).

As we have said before, George at the four is not a bad call by the Pacers, but some of that depends on the matchup. On the nights the Pacers face Davis or Blake Griffin or LaMarcus Aldridge or Zach Randolph (or a handful of others) the Pacers’ coaching staff is going to have to adjust. But there are a lot of nights where George at the four is going to force the other team to adjust, and that will play into the Pacers’ hands.