Daily Bullets (May 20)

The Smart Choice

Berry Tramel points at what makes basketball fans fall in love with former Cowboy and current Boston Celtic Marcus Smart.

Marcus Smart is one of my favorite players in the NBA, and not just because he’s an OSU guy who was fun to cover in Stillwater.

Smart doesn’t shoot all that well. He’s a career 29.3 percent 3-point shooter in the NBA, and in this era, 3-point shooting is cherished and should be.

Smart also doesn’t know when to stop shooting. This season, he took more 3-pointers per minutes played than did teammates Jayson Tatum, Al Horford and Jaylen Brown, and they shot .434, .429 and .393, respectively, from 3-point range.

But Smart literally does everything else well. Literally. Runs the point and passes wonderfully. Defends like a musketeer. Rebounds. Stands down to no one. [NewsOK]

The handful of qualities that he brings adds so much value – he nearly singlehandedly changes games on his own.

Participation Trophies

Last week, the ACC proposed a 72-team bracket for the NCAA Tournament – adding another four teams for the “First Four”. That would have likely resulted in an invitation for the Pokes last year… But is it really a good idea?

The four No. 1 seeds in the NIT this past season were Saint Mary’s, USC, Notre Dame and Baylor, one mid-major that didn’t challenge itself sufficiently in non-league play, a Pac-12 squad lacking wins over at-large caliber teams and two other high-majors with 14 losses apiece. Utah, Marquette, Louisville and Oklahoma State were the four No. 2 seeds, and only the Cowboys had anything even resembling an NCAA tournament-caliber resume.

While you can certainly make an argument that a few of those teams could have snared a spot in the field of 68 ahead of controversial inclusion like Syracuse, the event as a whole wouldn’t have been any stronger had all four of those teams been part of a second First Four. Is anyone clamoring for a matinee matchup between Baylor and Notre Dame on the Tuesday after Selection Sunday? Didn’t think so. [Yahoo Sports]

The piece goes on to point out the slippery slope that adding teams would be – but hasn’t that bridge already been crossed with a First-Four?

And while I agree that the extra games wouldn’t generate that much buzz – Oklahoma State wouldn’t have been a team a higher see wanted to play. Ask Kansas.

OSU and NCAA Notes

Where should Dez Bryant land?….Bracket set for the Big 12 Baseball Tournament this week….Why West Virginia (and the Big 12) lives on transfers….PFF has Justice Hill in their third tier of 2019 NFL-bound running backs….Regional news: Arkansas playing at War Memorial until 2024

Late Happy 90th to Mr. Pickens – a lot of blame for a lot of Oklahoma State Football wins in this photo.

Pokes drop game three, land in second place in the regular season.

I suspect this is a big reason why Gundy wanted the Jumbotron (recruiting).

It’ll take some getting used to but it’s a good look.

The former Poke landed in a good spot (h/t to Boone for spotting)

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Other Stuff I’m Reading

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