UPDATE: 2/9/14, 6:35 PM EST
Oklahoma State basketball player Marcus Smart will be suspended for 3 games following Saturday’s pushing incident.
The Big 12 suspended the All-Star player for “inappropriate conduct with a spectator.”
Smart apologized for his actions and Coach Travis Ford voiced his support:
“Marcus Smart made a big mistake last night. He knows that,” Ford said. “I know Marcus Smart. Pretty much been around him on a daily basis for two years. Undoubtedly, last night was not one of his finest moments. But he’s had a lot of fine moments as a player and as a person.”
See Smart’s press conference remarks below:
See Coach Ford’s remarks below:
UPDATE: 2/9/14, 3:30 PM EST
Marcus Smart will hold a press conference at 6:00 PM EST tonight to address last night’s incident with Texas Tech fan Jeff Orr.
Additional reporting from Kelly Hines via Twitter:
Radio analyst John Holcomb confirms what he said on air: He heard Marcus Smart say the fan called him the n-word.
— Kelly Hines (@KellyHinesTW) February 9, 2014
5 p.m. news conference at #okstate will include AD Mike Holder and coach Travis Ford along with Marcus Smart.
— Kelly Hines (@KellyHinesTW) February 9, 2014
LUBBOCK, Texas (AP) — Oklahoma State star Marcus Smart shoved a fan behind the basket in the waning seconds of Texas Tech’s 65-61 win over the 19th-ranked Cowboys on Saturday night.
Smart tried to block Jaye Crockett’s dunk attempt from behind with 6.2 seconds to go and tumbled into the front row of the crowd. He was helped to his feet by one man but then got in the face of another fan in a black shirt.
The man appeared to say something to Smart, who then shoved him with two hands. The fan stumbled backward a bit but didn’t fall. Teammates quickly pulled an angry Smart away from the fracas, and he pointed back in the direction of the fan.
Smart was called for a technical foul but was not ejected. A unanimous selection to the preseason All-America team, Smart could face discipline from the Big 12. Texas Tech spokesman Trenten Hilburn said John Underwood, the conference’s associate commissioner for basketball, said the league would review the situation.
“I didn’t see it yet. I want to make sure I see it and see what happened,” Oklahoma State coach Travis Ford said after the game. “I’m still trying to figure it out.”
No Cowboys players were made available to reporters after the game.
Texas Tech coach Tubby Smith said he turned away from the play and didn’t see the altercation.
“You really have to find the film to see what happened,” he said. “I assume the officials saw what happened. That’s why he got a technical out of it. The frustration when you’re losing sometimes on a losing streak, I’ve been there before, it can be tough. I’m sure he regrets doing that, whatever he did, so things like that happen in the heat of the battle.”
See the push below:
Crockett scored 21 points and tied his season high with 12 rebounds to lead Texas Tech, which handed the Cowboys (16-7, 4-6 Big 12) their fourth straight loss.
The fan Smart shoved is Jeff Orr, who travels thousands of miles each year to attend Texas Tech basketball games, according to athletic department spokesman Blayne Beal. Fans nearby looked stunned — one wide-eyed woman next to Orr covered her mouth and pointed at Smart as he was pulled away.
Smart scored 22 points and Phil Forte had 15 to lead the Cowboys. The game was tied at 61 when Crockett hit the go-ahead shot with 41 seconds remaining. Oklahoma State’s Le’Bryan Nash lost the ball in the lane, and Crockett raced toward the basket at the other end.
Smart knocked the ball away and was called for a foul, then pushed the fan and drew the technical. Dusty Hannahs and Crockett each made one of two free throws for the final margin. The Red Raiders (12-11, 4-6) earned their second win over a Top 25 team in the past month. They beat then-No. 12 Baylor in January. The game was tied 13 times and the lead changed 12 times as each team put together runs throughout the game. Texas Tech dominated inside, getting 32 points in the paint to 22 for the Cowboys.
Smart has had some inconsistent stretches this season, but is considered one of the best all-around players in the country. The sophomore guard had a fantastic start to the season, leading to speculation that he could be the No. 1 pick in the NBA draft this year.
He has struggled at times lately, though, including a four-point game against West Virginia that led to him apologizing to his teammates afterward. The victory gave the Red Raiders as many Big 12 wins this season as they had the past two years combined. None of Texas Tech’s players had ever played before a sellout crowd at home. The last two at United Spirit Arena came in January 2007, including New Year’s Day when former Red Raiders coach Bob Knight got his 880th win to become the winningest coach in Division I.
The Cowboys used a 17-7 run to open the second half, including two 3-pointers from Forte, five points from Nash and six from Smart, to go up 44-36. But the Red Raiders didn’t buckle.
They used a 9-2 run on baskets by Kader Tapsoba, Randy Onwuasor and Crockett, and a 3-pointer by Onwuasor, to pull to 46-45 with 11:14 remaining. Texas Tech went up 51-48 on a 3 by Crockett right before Kamari Murphy picked up his fourth foul with 7:47 left.
The Cowboys answered, getting buckets from Smart, Murphy and Forte and culminating with a 3 from Smart to go up 57-54 with 4:31 remaining. Crockett quickly tied at 57 it with a 3.
The Cowboys struggled early, hitting just one field goal in 11 tries. But Oklahoma State used a 10-0 run, including a dunk by Nash, layups by Smart and Markel Brown and a 3-pointer by Forte, to go up 14-10. The Red Raiders answered with a 9-2 run that included four points from Crockett and three from Toddrick Gotcher, and an 8-2 run in the final 1:29 of the half to lead 29-27. Oklahoma State’s point total for the half was a season low.