Marcus Smart looks back at USA Basketball experience with DeMarcus Cousins

Marcus Smart rises up for a jumper over Chris Jent. (Photo: Jason Wise)

Marcus Smart is one of a few players in this year’s NBA Draft that knows what it’s like to be on the court with DeMarcus Cousins. Like the Sacramento Kings center, the Oklahoma State guard was one of a select number of players invited to last year’s Team USA mini camp in Las Vegas. The opportunity gave him a first-hand look at what it might be like to play with the 23-year-old big man.

“Playing with DeMarcus, he was very competitive,” Smart said. “He plays with a lot of emotion and he competes every day and it makes (playing) more fun, like what you saw. Playing with DeMarcus was great.”

Smart only played against Cousins during the four-day camp. The two players were never paired together on the same team. However, he enjoyed the chance to compete against one of the NBA’s up-and-coming bigs.

“It was a fun experience,” Smart said of participating in the camp. “It was a great experience because I was one of two college kids that got to play in it.”

Smart is a projected lottery pick in this year’s NBA Draft. He was in a similar position last year following his freshmen season at Oklahoma State, but decided to stay an extra year at Stillwater. Despite things not going the way he’d hoped in his sophomore season, he has no regrets about his decision.

“I definitely think I made the right decision with coming back,” Smart said. “I have no regrets. I got to go back, have another year in college, enjoy that experience and still be able to play in the NBA.”

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About: Jonathan Santiago

Jonathan Santiago serves Cowbell Kingdom as senior editor specializing in writing, podcasting and video production. He also handles the majority of CK’s day-to-day beat coverage of the Kings.