Understanding the Smart fallout, an interview with Jim Boeheim, more

Monday February 10th, 2014
Marcus Smart shoved fan Jeff Orr (center) in the second half of Oklahoma State's loss to Texas Tech.
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I hope he does not despair too badly. We live in a forgiving society. Not many of us could have handled this kind of pressure and scrutiny as a sophomore in college. If Smart has anger management issues, he needs to deal with them. If he made mistakes, he needs to learn from them. This has been a trying few weeks, but it's the kind of experience that can make Smart a better player. More importantly, it can make him a better man.

Jim Boeheim said he would have never imagined coaching past 60, but now at age 69, he doesn't know when he'll stop.
Lance King/Getty Images

There are three teams sitting atop Conference USA that are worthy of mentioning, but unfortunately, they are not worthy of ranking. Southern Miss and UTEP are 8-1 in the league -- which is remarkable considering UTEP dismissed three players, including its leading scorer, for gambling last month -- and Louisiana Tech is one game behind at 8-2. The problem is that none of those teams can earn quality wins because of the overall weakness of Conference USA, which is going to be a one-bid league. But whichever team emerges from that conference is going to be a tough out in the NCAA tournament.

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