Is Frustration Getting The Best Of Smart?

STILLWATER, Okla. – Are Big 12 officials watching Marcus Smart closer than they have in the past? Are allegations by other conference teams that the Oklahoma State guard is a "flopper" beginning to force the officials to look the other way when Smart is getting hammered? The Cowboys sophomore walked off the court and left the bench area twice Saturday, apparently frustrated with the officials.

Smart finished with only four points (the second fewest that he's ever scored in 52 games playing at OSU). He made just 1-of-7 field goals while finishing with five rebounds, four assists and three turnovers in the 11th-ranked Cowboys 81-75 victory over West Virginia on Saturday inside Gallagher-Iba Arena.

Smart did not attend the post-game news conference but Oklahoma State head coach Travis Ford was asked about the Cowboys sophomore's actions, including walking past his teammates and into the hallway near the OSU locker room during the game.

"I still don't know exactly what happened," Ford said. "He takes a lot of punches. I know that everybody thinks that he does this and he does that, (but) he is getting hit.

"I've watched tape and I've sent it (to the league office). We all understand that everybody's game plan is to take him out. I don't think there was any cheap (play by West Virginia). I don't think they intentionally tried to do anything but it's a physical game.

"I think sometimes when you're his size, some people think this and that they don't give him the benefit of the doubt sometimes. You hope it's black and white; if it's a foul, call it. I hate to comment. I don't know what happened."

Could the Big 12 be instructing its officials to watch Smart? "You would have to ask them," Ford said. "I think he did get a little frustrated (today), and I'm anxious to see if its justified. I don't know. I know he was getting frustrated and I can understand. In other games I've seen it. It will be addressed if it was."

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