STILLWATER, Okla. —
The situation comes at a rough time for the Cowboy program. Not only has OSU been down their best defensive post player in Michael Cobbins since the start of the conference season due to an Achilles injury, just last week freshman point guard Stevie Clark was dismissed from the team for his second arrest in less than two months.
"We have opportunities for players to step up, opportunities for our team to grow right now," Ford said. "Obviously, Marcus has been a major identity of our basketball team, no question about it. This is going to give an opportunity for some of them who haven’t been playing quite as much to pick up the slack while he is out.
"In any situation, we try to look for the positives and this will be great for him to sit back, watch, evaluate our team, spend a lot of time with our team and get them prepared to play. When it’s his time, I’m expecting him to come back better than ever. I’m expecting him to come back and help this basketball team in every way that he possibly he can."
The late-game reaction by Smart in Saturday's loss to Texas Tech sparked a media and social media storm that included speculation as to the comments made by the Red Raiders fan that led to Smart reacting as he did. ESPN televised the Sunday press conference live during SportsCenter.
When Oklahoma City Thunder all-star Kevin Durant was asked after Sunday's game with the New York Knicks about Smart's reaction, Durant said, "It was the heat of the moment, and I'm not sure I would have reacted any different. … We’re all human and words do hurt and some things should be kept to yourself.”