Oklahoma City Thunder star Kevin Durant watched Oklahoma State sophomore sensation Marcus Smart's 39-point performance on Tuesday night in the Cowboys' 101-80 victory over Memphis and liked what he saw.
Durant, who made the trip up from Oklahoma City to Stillwater to watch the game, believes Smart is ready for the NBA.
"Marcus can play in the league right now," Durant told USA Today. "Definitely."
Durant went on to say, "He was just unbelievable for them tonight. He was doing it all for them, rebounding, blocking shots, passing, scoring. He led them.
"I knew he could do everything pretty well. But I like his demeanor. I like how he handles his teammates. A player like him, he always can burst out and get 30 or 40 points."
Smart decided to return to Oklahoma State after an outstanding freshman season despite projections that he would be a high first-round draft pick.
"He is poised," Durant said. "And the extra year will help him out as far as knowing the game more."
Smart was excited to see Durant sitting in the front row in Gallagher-Iba Arena.
"I was like, 'Wait a minute, am I dreaming?'" Smart said.
Smart, who added five steals, four rebounds and four assists in 33 minutes, was humbled when informed that Durant praised his game.
"For someone of his talent, he's one of the NBA's greatest, for him to say that, it really means a lot. I am doing something right," Smart said. "What he told you, that is something that is going to stick with me."