OSU Signs Three, Including Five-Star Marcus Smart

Wednesday, November 9th 2011, 4:37 pm
By: News 9

Flower Mound, Texas duo Marcus Smart and Phil Forte both signed letters of intent Wednesday to play hoops for Travis Ford and the Oklahoma State Cowboys.

Ford said he was excited about the recruits and that all three fit the program's personality.

"All three have very distinctive skills, but they all have something in common," Ford said. "They're all high-character guys that love winning. They love to play the game. All three of them are gym rats and live in the gym.

Smart is a five-star small forward, and the 14th-ranked basketball prospect in the nation, while Forte is a three-star point guard, but had offers from seven other schools, including the Kansas Jayhawks. The Marcus High School pair has been on the same basketball team since the third grade."

Smart, a 6-4, 220-pound guard, averaged 15.1 points, 9.2 rebounds and 5.1 assists last season as a junior. He chose OSU over several other big offers such as North Carolina, Kansas, Texas and Baylor.

"He's just an overall winner," Ford said of Smart. "He does everything. He plays at a level of energy that hasn't been matched by many people that I've seen. He's the ultimate competitor. He can really shoot it for his size, he'll get down there and bang it, he's athletic, he can rebound, and he does all these things for his high school team."

Phil Forte is among the best shooters in the class and is the No. 27 point guard in the country, according to Scout.com.

"Phillip is probably THE premier shooter in the country," Ford said. "I have not seen a close second. He can really shoot, which is his number one strength. His other strengths are that he's really, really strong with the ball in his hands. He can create and is a really good ball handler."

Kamari Murphy is a prep school player at IMG Academy in Bradenton, Fla. Originally from Brooklyn, Murphy is a 6-8, 210-pound power forward and averaged 17 points and 10 boards as a senior at Lincoln High School in Brooklyn.

Ford said Murphy is a hard worker and has a nearly unlimited motor getting up and down the court.

"The way we play, he could possibly be one of the premier shot blockers because he's athletic, he runs hard and has an extremely high motor," Ford said. "He's prepping for a year which is only going to help him get bigger and stronger and come in here ready to play."