Smart Leads Marcus to State Championship

Prior to his junior season, combo guard Marcus Smart said his Flower Mound Marcus squad had what it took to capture a state title.

It appears that Smart, a five-star prospect in the Class of 2012, and one of the Longhorns' top targets, predicts the outcome of games about as well as he plays in them. Marcus High School went 39-1 this season, capturing some big wins over national-type schools and winning the state title on the Texas campus this past weekend.

"It was great," Smart said. "To do what we did, we went through a lot of stuff to get there. It was a great accomplishment."

Smart certainly did his part. A tough player who will do anything to get his team the W, Smart scored 16 points, dished out two assists and grabbed a whopping 11 rebounds, including the clinching defensive board for the victory.

"It sunk in that we were going to win in the last few minutes," Smart said. "But we thought about it all along, that this was our year. This was our chance."

Smart still isn't sure when he'll get a chance to make his recruiting decisions. The versatile prospect has been offered by "pretty much the whole Big 12," and said that four schools are recruiting him the hardest: North Carolina, Texas, Oklahoma and Texas A&M.

"I'm pretty open right now," Smart said. "If I had to pick schools that have my interest, I would say Texas and North Carolina right now, but they aren't that far in front of the other schools."

Smart said that while most of his interest has come from the Big 12 region, he hasn't necessarily ruled out the possibility of leaving the region to play college basketball.

Whichever team gets Smart will land a prize, a player who took the time this season to overcome what many saw as his biggest weakness, his jump shot.

"I'm also trying to become a much better leader," Smart said. "But I take my pride in defense. I try to find the opposing team's main scorer and take care of him."

That's a talent that should serve Smart well. He's being recruited largely because of his defense and his versatility, which allows him to play anywhere from the one through the three. He'll play all three for his AAU team starting in April or May.

"I'm looking forward to getting out there with a lot of great players and competing against great talent," Smart said. "I'm just going to keep trying to improve."

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