Marcus Smart is back for Oklahoma State, and they haven’t lost since his return. Both him and DeAndre Kane for Iowa State are making the biggest impacts on their teams as they head into the final game of the regular season. We spotlight them and take a look at some others that could or should make a big impact in the game.
#33 Marcus Smart (OSU sophomore guard, 6-foot-4, 220 lbs.)
Since coming back from his three-game suspension, Smart is averaging 18 points, 6.8 assists, and 4.5 steals per game. He’s answering critics with playing his best basketball of the season. Perhaps he finally has turned the corner in maturity after taking a few steps back.
#50 DeAndre Kane (ISU senior guard, 6-foot-4, 200 lbs.)
Kane had the best game of the year in Stillwater; he finished with a season-high 26 points along with nine rebounds, nine assists, and committed just two turnovers. However, the talented point guard is playing his best consistent basketball right now, especially on the offensive end. He’s made seven or more field goals in the last five games, averaging 20.6 points in that stretch. He also has been a threat from downtown recently; he made 5-of-9 from 3-point range in the loss against Baylor on Tuesday
#13 Phil Forte (OSU sophomore guard, 5-foot-11, 185 lbs.)
As a normal contributor, Forte leads Oklahoma State in efficient field goal percentage (.622). He wasn’t real dangerous in the game against Iowa State, but he drilled a critical 3-point shot that gave the Cowboys an opportunity to win. He’s starting to become hot from the perimeter. He’s made 50 percent or more of his 3-point shots in four of the last six games. The 3-point specialist was on fire against Kansas State, drilling 6-of-11 from downtown, in the Big Monday finale against Kansas State.
#22 Dustin Hogue (ISU junior forward, 6-foot-6, 215 lbs.)
Hogue’s second-to-last double-double came in the win over Oklahoma State (10 points, 13 boards), but that was likely due to the 42 minutes he spent on the court. If both Melvin Ejim and Georges Niang run into problems again similar to their issues at Baylor last Tuesday, Hogue will need to be prepared to step up.
#21 Kamari Murphy (OSU sophomore forward, 6-foot-8, 220 lbs.)
While Murphy isn’t an offensive juggernaut, he’s emerged as one of the better players on the Cowboys that have stepped up in the absense of Michael Cobbins. He’s hit double-digit rebounds in three of the last seven games, and only turned it over more than twice against Baylor on the road (five times to be exact). His bigger size could be a distraction on both ends, giving him the ability to grab the boards like he did against TCU.