OSU Basketball Notebook

The Tulsa World first reported the news of Oklahoma State's new jerseys for the upcoming season on Thursday. The changes are more than just cosmetic.

The back of the jerseys features images of Pistol Pete and the student union, as well as, "1890" above the players' names to denote the year OSU was founded. The shorts also say Cowboys running vertically along the sides.

The jerseys are part of the new Nike Elite style of uniforms and OSU will return all four colors from a year ago in the package: orange, black, white and gray. Images are available on the Tulsa World site.

Ford excited for Smart making USA squad

Incoming freshman Marcus Smart was one of 12 players named to the 2012 USA Men's U18 National Team on Sunday.

Coach Ford was asked on Thursday about the benefits of the experience as Smart prepares for his freshman campaign with the Cowboys.

"I think it is an extremely positive experience for Marcus," Ford said. "First of all, for him to be able to represent the USA and play for USA Basketball is a great experience. From everybody I've talked to, he's been what I expected: A leader of the team and he's played extremely well. He's been a big hit with everybody because Marcus is all about winning; that's his No. 1 concern. His No. 1 goal is to try to figure out how to help his team win. That always plays well on all-star type teams. He's going to have a great experience playing with some great players and being coached by some great coaches with Billy Donovan (Florida) and Mark Few (Gonzaga) as an assistant.

"He's getting some great experience and when they get over to Brazil, he'll be playing against great competition, so that's great. He'll be joining us here in July for summer school to get started with our basketball team. It's going to be a very busy summer for Marcus but I think it's going to really help him a lot."

The USA team will compete in the 2012 FIBA Americas U18 Championship, which will take place June 16-20 in Sao Sebastiáo do Paraiso, Brazil.

Eight teams are set to compete in the 2012 U18 Americas zone qualifier. The USA will compete with Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Colombia, Mexico, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands in an effort to place in the top four. The top four qualify for next summer's 2013 FIBA U19 World Championship.

The USA will be competing for its sixth gold medal, having won the most recent one in 2010.

"It's exciting for him and, knowing the type of man Marcus is, he deserves it all," Ford said. "He's one of the most unselfish people I've ever been around."

Replacing Keiton is about more than points

A big talking point during Ford's brief eight-minute teleconference on Thursday was the void left by departed senior captain and leading scorer Keiton Page.

Ford has discussed this in the past and his opinion doesn't appear to have changed at this point: replacing his points is possible, replacing his leadership will be much more difficult. That said, one Cowboy sticks out in Ford's mind as someone who has the potential to take on the responsibility.

"Markel Brown is somebody who I think can really step into that role. He's been around for a couple years, he roomed with Keiton Page, he seems to want to accept that role," he said. "That's a good question. Obviously we lose a lot without Keiton even with him being the only player we lose. I believe we can replace the points but that leadership we talk about is the biggest area where we're really looking to find a way to replace. Keiton is one of the greatest leaders I've ever had. That is a work in progress right now.

"We've had some guys who have been around a little bit who we're watching to see what type of active role they take this summer. Markel Brown is one guy right off the top of my head who can do that."


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