A trio of former Oklahoma State All-Americans will be on NBA rosters when the 2017-18 season tips off on Tuesday night.
Marcus Smart and the Boston Celtics will open the season with an Eastern Conference Finals rematch against the Cleveland Cavaliers at 7 p.m. Smart, a fourth-year pro, is coming off his best season yet, which included 10.6 points, 4.6 assists and 3.9 rebounds per game for the Celtics.
At OSU, Smart was a two-time All-American (2013, 2014), the 2013 Big 12 Player of the Year and broke the school record for career steals per game at 2.9.
Known across the league as The Grindfather, Tony Allen is entering his 14th season in the NBA thanks to his tenacious defense. He is a six-time NBA All-Defensive team selection, and despite signing with the New Orleans Hornets in the offseason, Allen will open the 2017-18 season in the arena he called home for the last seven seasons – in the FedEx Forum against the Memphis Grizzlies.
Allen led the Cowboys to the 2004 Big 12 regular season and tournament titles, as well as the 2004 Final Four in San Antonio, Texas. He was the 2004 Big 12 Co-Player of the Year, and finished his career with a scoring average of 15.3 points per game.
The latest addition to the NBA for OSU, Jawun Evans, is coming off a fantastic summer with the Los Angeles Clippers, and will open the season on Thursday night against the rival Lakers at the Staples Center. Evans averaged 8.4 points, 4.2 assists and 2.8 rebounds per game in the NBA Summer League for the Clippers, and posted 22 points, eight assists and zero turnovers in the preseason finale against the Lakers.
Evans was an All-American for the Cowboys last season after becoming the first players in school history to record a 600-point, 200-assist season.