North Texas Daily

Junior guard Roosevelt Smart receives All C-USA preseason honors

Junior guard Roosevelt Smart receives All C-USA preseason honors

Junior guard Roosevelt Smart receives All C-USA preseason honors
November 02
16:53 2018

Junior guard Roosevelt Smart received the 2018 Conference USA Preseason All-Team honors, chosen by the coaches in the conference at the beginning of every season.

The Chicago native has been a leader during his career at North Texas. In the 2017-18 campaign, he scored 720 points (19.5 ppg), leading the Mean Green offensively. Smart’s focus rests on the post-season.

“It’s a tremendous honor, and I’m thankful for the recognition,” Smart said. “My primary goal and our team’s goal is to win a conference championship and make the NCAA tournament.”

Despite Smart earning a high individual award for his own performance, head coach Grant McCasland credits the team around Smart for this award.

“This speaks to Roosevelt’s talent level and his effectiveness,” McCasland said. “More than anything, it speaks to the team. We play together so any individual award always is pointed toward the team’s success.”

Last season, Smart recorded a new program record of 133 three-pointers. The North Texas team competed in and won the College Basketball Invitational Tournament in 2017, where Smart received most valuable player honors in the tournament. He averaged 23 points per game and broke a CBI record with 22 three-pointers.

While Smart is dominant on the scoring side, he also has control over the game through his passing and defensive abilities, which is what he said he focused on this off-season.

“He’s definitely gotten better playing off the basketball and moving,” McCasland said. “His defense has improved, so we’ll look for him to be a better defender.”

McCasland credits Smart’s growth for his maturity when playing the game and how he handles more defensive pressure now that he is an offensive weapon for North Texas.

“His attention to where he needs to be on the floor considering spacing has come along way,” McCasland said. “Great players always want the basketball, but there has to be a timing and understanding of when to move away from the ball, and that’s where he’s made huge strides.”

Smart serves as a strong leader through the team, through his work ethic and leading by example. His teammates believe he can match his 2017 season this upcoming year.

“I’ve been super blessed to play with [Smart],” junior guard DJ Draper said. “He’s hard-working, [and] he’s got a great attitude every practice and every game. It’s going to be hard to have the same season, but he’s a really good player, and he works really hard. I wouldn’t expect anything less from him.”

Smart said he is not worried about the honors as all his focus lies on winning the conference and advancing in the tournament.

“We all know if we focus on winning as a team, the individual honors will come,” Smart said. “We had a lot of success last season, but we know we can do better.”

Smart takes pride in how hard the team worked this summer off their CBI championship. The Mean Green are returning with the focus on getting further this season than ever before.

“We won’t be sneaking up anyone this year,” Smart said. “We’ve worked harder this summer than ever before. We are hungry for more, which is why I think we’ve worked so hard as a team this summer. I know if we as a team continue to work hard as a team, we’ll be great.”

Featured Image: North Texas sophomore guard Roosevelt Smart shoots the ball in the first round of the Conference USA Tournament against Louisiana Tech on March 7, 2018 at The Star in Frisco. Sara Carpenter

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Joshua Paveglio

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