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.
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.