The hype and expectations keep escalating for Oklahoma State freshman guard Marcus Smart.
On Monday the Sporting News named Smart a preseason freshman All-American, one of just five players honored by the publication.
"This is a great honor, and a great thing to be a part of," Smart said in a press release. "It's something that makes me just want to go out there and work even harder. Everyone on the team is very anxious and can't wait to get back on the court."
Smart is joined on the Freshman All-America team by UCLA combo guard Shabazz Muhammad, Indiana point guard Yogi Ferrell, and the Kentucky duo of small forward Alex Polythress and center Nerlens Noel.
"Marcus worked extremely hard and accomplished a lot in high school to earn and deserve this reputation as one of the top freshmen in the country," OSU head coach Travis Ford said. "We look forward to him making an immediate impact on our basketball team here at Oklahoma State."
Smart joining the returning core of Le'Bryan Nash, Markel Brown, Brian Williams and Michael Cobbins has a lot of people buzzing about the potential for drastic improvement over last year's disappointing 15-18 finish.
Smart and fellow incoming freshman Phil Forte led Flower Mound Marcus (Texas) High School to back-to-back 5A state titles before joining Ford's team in Stillwater.
Smart chose the Cowboys over offers from Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, Baylor and North Carolina, among others. He was also named a McDonald's High School All-American and the Texas player of the year.
Smart and Cowboys begin practice for the 2012-13 season on Oct. 12.