December 16, 2012

Smart recaps his first final exam experience

The Cowboy basketball team is off to a hot start so far this season, and that's due in large part to the play of their freshman phenom Marcus Smart.

Smart has started every game at point guard for the Pokes, and has them sitting pretty at 7-1 on the season despite also battling his first round of final exams this past week.

We caught up with Smart to talk about those finals, balancing school and basketball, and everything in between as the Pokes prepare for the midseason stretch of their schedule.

So how did your first round of final exams treat you?

It was crazy. I've never seen a ghost town like what this was for the last week or so. I saw it on twitter in the summer, how everyone was constantly studying and everything, but this was a new level. It was a great experience though.

How'd the testing go for you? It must've been a lot different from high school.

It was different, they do a lot of things differently. Here, you come in, you take it, and leave. In high school you've gotta stay and finish the day. It's a lot more on you, and you have to get your stuff done and if you don't it's your fault.

How weird was it to fully focus on academics this week at the same time? Usually it's split between basketball and school, but your schedule gave you the week off to focus it all on class.

In high school we had to focus on both, but now with the academics in college you have to go get your shots up on your own and do a lot of things alone. This past week you didn't have a lot of extra time so you have to make sure you were getting in there. Work the schedule back to where it fits you and stay on top of it.

Last weekend you got into foul trouble and had to sit a majority of the second half. What was that like for you, especially being a guy that's usually on the floor the whole game?

It was really frustrating. Like you said, I got in foul trouble, and our team needed me. A lot of guys stepped up, so I wasn't worried about it, I was just glad we got the victory. We're working on it in practice so I can stay grounded and make sure it's on my mind. But a lot of guys stepped up that game, I'm proud of the ones who did.

It seems like the good teams play offense really well, but the teams that are great give the extra effort on the defensive end of the floor. Where does that inspiration come for you to go full speed no matter what you're doing on the court?

Coming from high school, that was our pride. We were the best defensive team in the country my sophomore, junior, and senior year. We prided ourselves on defense, and I was always taught it wins games. When I came here, I brought it with me. They reacted in a positive way. We're going to do our best to not let you score and lock you down every single time.

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