Patosha Jeffery's Preview Camp
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Wednesday, November 20, 2013

3 Things to Learn from Oklahoma State’s Marcus Smart’s Performance against Memphis

By Patosha Jeffery

If you are one of my Facebook friends you know that I was livid about the Memphis Tigers - Oklahoma State game. I live in Memphis, TN. I grew up watching Memphis Tigers basketball. I played for the Lady Tigers team and graduated from the University of Memphis. So my blood bleeds blue.

Since I shared all my disappointments with the Tigers on Facebook, I wanted to share some tips for players on here.

Oklahoma State Marcus SmartDo You know YOU

Oklahoma State's sophomore guard, Marcus Smart, was a possible NBA lottery pick, if he would have left after his freshman year of college. However, he passed up millions of dollars to return to school and work on his game. He understood what his strengths and weaknesses were as a player.

I've watched a lot of basketball over the years. It really disappoints me to watch talented players not get better. Countless times I've seen highly talented middle school players enter high school only to graduate with the same skills and lack of basketball IQ.

Take some time and evaluate your game. Even better - have someone with higher basketball knowledge to evaluate your game. Get an understanding of your strengths and weaknesses. Then do something about it. Get to work.

Do You know Your Opponent

During the game, ESPN showed a short segment of the teams warming up prior to the game. Instead of warming up with the rest of his teammates, Marcus Smart and another player, was sitting at their bench watching Memphis warm up and talking strategy.

Playing basketball is one thing. Knowing basketball is another.

It's not always about being the most talented player. However, the smartest player has the advantage. On the college level, teams prepare for their opponent by scouting the other team. They study what the other team does well and does not so well. You can do the same thing.

You are at a greater advantage when you can outsmart and stabilize your opponent.

Be a Team Player

Marcus Smart made his team better. He lead his team with his actions and his words. You were always seeing him talking, encouraging and celebrating with his teammates. He finished the game with 39 points and also lead the team with 5 assists.

It was so disappointing to watch as Memphis came down the court in their have court set and make less than 2 passes. The entire game you saw someone attempting to get to the basket against 3,4,5 defenders.

What was also as equally disappointing was no leader rose to the occasion for Memphis. Not one person pulled the other players together to talk. It was like all players were for themselves.

To win basketball games takes team effort. It will take all players working together for the common goal. It will start when someone takes the leadership role on the court.

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