In a CBS poll, coaches picked Marcus Smart as the player they would most like to have on th..."/> In a CBS poll, coaches picked Marcus Smart as the player they would most like to have on th..."/>
Busting Brackets

NCAA Coaches Pick Marcus Smart


Feb 9, 2013; Austin, TX, USA; Oklahoma State Cowboys guard Marcus Smart (33) reacts against the Texas Longhorns during the second half at the Frank Erwin Special Events Center. Oklahoma State beat Texas 72-59. Mandatory Credit: Brendan Maloney-USA TODAY Sports

In a CBS poll, coaches picked Marcus Smart as the player they would most like to have on their team next year. The Oklahoma State Cowboys won over Creighton’s Doug McDermott and Kansas’ Andrew Wiggins.

Though Smart is an excellent point guard, it is a little bit surprising that he was picked by the coaches over Wiggins. Though he may not have played a game in the NCAA yet, it is understood that Wiggins would have been the first overall pick in the NBA in this year’s draft and should be the number one overall in 2014. Granted, a lot of that is based on potential but that doesn’t mean that Wiggins is not already a big time scorer and player.

From a coaches’ perspective, having Smart on the floor makes their job a lot easier. As the point guard, he controls the tempo of the game and is the one who calls the plays for his team. Being able to do those things at an elite level allows for coaches to focus on other aspects of the game without worrying too much about the offense.

There is also the fact that Smart came out in his freshman season as the team’s leader. You can see that guys look to him on the court for advice and leadership. Smart is an old school type of guy who will play through anything for his team and that will do anything to win. Coaches love hard nosed guys and Smart is definitely one of those types of players.

Another important aspect coaches like is having some big game experience, which is probably why McDermott finished second. As a big man who can score the ball pretty much anywhere on the court, McDermott is a hot comodity in the college world. While his skills may not translate into him being a big time NBA player, in the NCAA he can score on pretty much any defender. McDermott is good in the post and has a great jump shot that can stretch out the three point line. He has also proven that you can build an offense around him and win, because Creighton has done that for the past couple of years and had great success.

Rounding out the top five were Aaron Craft and Julius Randle. Admitedly Craft is a little bit of a surprise. While he is not a high schorer, he is a natural team leader that brings his game to both sides of the court. Craft also has a knack for hitting bit shots and is a good creator for his teammates. Every good team has one of those guys you hate but would love if he were on your team, Craft is that guy for Ohio State and he plays his role beautifully.

As for Randle, he is like Wiggins in that he has yet to play an NCAA game. What he brings is crazy potential at the power forward position because he can do everything really well. It is expected that he will be a big time scorer for the young Kentucky Wildcats and his ability to run the floor, grab rebounds and drive to the hoop make him a very dangerous and versatile player.

Ultimately while they are undoubtedly more talented players than a few of the players picked in the top five, it came down for coaches to the known factors and sure things. Jabari Parker is probably a much better talent than Aaron Craft but he has yet to play a game. Craft has shown what he can do time and time again and can be counted on to deliver. For coaches, knowing what they are getting is a much more attractive option that the unknown. Unless of course the first year is an incredible specimen in the veins of Wiggins or Randle.

Though this little poll means very little in the grand scheme of things, it is fun to look at see where coaches’ minds are at this particular point in time, especially with this amazing incoming freshman crop.