Smith: "I'm Not Surprised At All"

DURHAM, N.C. -- NC State point guard Dennis Smith discusses the win over Duke.

Did you specifically eye-ball this game as one you had to be great in?
I didn't come in thinking I had to be great in this game. I think that for every game. I want to go out and be my best every game.

Where's this NC State team been at?
We've been making progress. Slow progress... we've been getting there.

Are you surprised by this win?
I'm not surprised at all.  A lot of people say it's an upset, but I planned on winning, our guys planned on winning.

How much does this change the mentality for the team?
Hopefully we'll go to Louisville with the same intensity. It's a road game.

Was that playing in your mind, this may be your only appearance in Cameron?
I know we couldn't repeat what happened at Carolina. That's the main thing. We only play them once. We get Carolina again, we don't play Duke again. We wanted to try and make a statement.

Was that what you dream about growing up... finishing a win with a dunk in Cameron?
I don't even know if the dunk counted.  I just dreamed of winning big games, regardless of where it's at.

At what point did you get the sense this was your game?
I didn't get that sense at all. I was just out there playing.

Do you feel you guys saved your season at all?
I don't think there was any saving to do. We were making progress with every game. It's an important win for us and we're looking to carry it over to Louisville

Does this show why you're one of the best freshmen in the country?
I wouldn't say one game defines me. I could have had a bad game.  I just go out and play, compete as hard as I can.

How big of a swing... losing by 51 at Carolina and then winning in Cameron for the first time in 20 years?
That's pretty impressive. It's just effort. That's the main thing. Everybody came out and gave maximum effort the entire game. That was key.

Did the UNC game help in that sense?
It could have got some jitters out for a lot of players, including myself.

Can you sustain the effort and energy?
We don't play until Sunday... we have a lot of time to recuperate.  We're going relax, attack practice whenever we get back into it, and compete just as hard against Louisville.

What does this game show about this team?
We're better than what a lot of people think. A lot of people got down on us after a couple of losses, but we never got down on each other. We believed in each other, believed in the team, and we believe in the staff. We can do great things.

What did he say to you in the locker room after the game?
I don't know... there was so much yelling going on.  I don't remember. I know he was excited and it's a great win as a team.

Is that the biggest win of your career so far?
Definitely.

What was it like being tackled at the end after the dunk?
I was hoping I didn't fall on any reporters. That was exciting. It was the first time that happened to me.

Take us through the big plays down the stretch. Did you feel like you had to do that?
Sometimes someone has to quiet the crowd.  Sometimes it's me, sometimes it's someone else on the team. This time it was me, and I took what they gave me.


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