In this March 21 file photo, Oklahoma State guard Marcus Smart (33) shoots against Oregon guard Johnathan Loyd during NCAA tournament in San Jose, Calif. (AP Photo)
A lot of people were shocked when Marcus Smart announced he would return to Oklahoma State for his sophomore season. Nobody should be surprised the Cowboys' point guard was a unanimous selection to The Associated Press' preseason All-America men's basketball team.
Smart was on every ballot from the 65-member national media panel Monday, a no-brainer since he was expected to be among the first players chosen if he had declared for the NBA draft. The last unanimous preseason All-America was Ohio State's Jared Sullinger in 2011-12.
After averaging 15.4 points, 5.8 rebounds, 4.2 assists and 3.0 steals last season in winning the Big 12 player of year award, it was how the Cowboys fared in the NCAA tournament that had a lot to do with his coming back.
"I felt like we had a lot more to accomplish," Smart said of the loss to Oregon in Oklahoma State's opening game of the NCAA tournament. "We were a lot better team than that. That's just not the way we wanted to go out. It helped me a little bit to get motivated to come back this year."
The 6-foot-4 Smart was joined on the preseason All-America team by seniors Doug McDermott of Creighton and Russ Smith of Louisville, sophomore Mitch McGary of Michigan and freshman Andrew Wiggins of Kansas.
McDermott, the Missouri Valley Conference player of the year last season after averaging 23.2 points and 7.7 rebounds, was on all but two ballots. The 6-8 forward enters the season with a chance at joining an exclusive group. A two-time first-team All-America, McDermott could become just the 11th player to be a three-time postseason selection and the first since Patrick Ewing of Georgetown and Tisdale at Oklahoma from 1983-85.
The 6-foot Smith, who received 52 votes, averaged 18.7 points and 2.9 assists in helping the Cardinals win the national championship.
The 6-8 Wiggins, just the second freshman to earn preseason honors since the team was first selected for the 1986-87 season, averaged 23.4 points and 11.2 rebounds as a senior at Huntington (W.Va.) Prep School. He was on 42 ballots and joins Harrison Barnes of North Carolina in 2010-11 as the only freshmen to earn preseason honors.
The 6-10 McGary, who averaged 7.5 points and 6.3 rebounds, caught the country's attention during the Wolverines' run to the NCAA title game when he averaged 14.3 points and 10.7 rebounds. He received 34 votes.
Ohio State guard Aaron Craft was sixth in the voting with 14.
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