Marcus Smart’s return to Oklahoma State was obviously a major coup for the program setting the Cowboys up as a Big 12 and national contender.

And the benefits keep coming.

Smart’s presence makes the Pokes better.

And makes the program more visible.

And makes the program more appealing to recruits.

And Smart’s decision coach Travis Ford says makes a statement about what’s going on at OSU.

“There’s some excitement around the program and recruits feel that” Ford said. “We had a good year last year. We were on TV a lot and won some big games. That always helps.

“The biggest thing is you’ve got a guy who would have been a top-three pick in the NBA Draft probably No. 2 and he decides to stay. So I think recruits and recruits’ parents look at that and say ‘Hey y’all must be doing something right over there y’all must be treating them right for him to say I want to stay.’

“It’s not like he didn’t need the money or he’s set.”

Within Smart’s decision Ford says is a confirmation that OSU is a good place to be for basketball and more. Currently the Cowboys have three commitments including two four-star high school recruits. And Ford and Co. remain in the hunt on several of the nation’s other top talents.