“So we need to be humble and do what we know how to do and get the job done.”
These Cowboys, after all, have been humbled.
Last season, while positive overall with a 24-9 record and a return to the NCAA Tournament, came to a disappointing halt when their postseason ended with a decisive loss to Oregon in the postseason.
“Neither me nor the team of Oklahoma State gave it our all against Oregon,” Smart said. “It left a disgusting taste in our mouth. We can't even watch the video. We haven't even watched the Oregon video yet.
“And I'm pretty sure coach is doing that for a reason, because he knows how disgusted we are about it. He knows how hyped it's going to get us when we look at it, because we're going to look at it like, ‘That was the team that came out and played?'
“That's going to motivate us to play every game and make sure that doesn't happen again.”
That more than having five players with extensive starting experience, bringing back the Big 12's top three returning scorers and the memory of many major positive moments from a year ago, like winning at Kansas and finishing one game out of the Big 12 championship.
Those are the outside observations fueling outside expectations.
“We don't hide from, yes, we are supposed to be a pretty good basketball team this year,” said OSU coach Travis Ford. “We don't hide from that. But we've got to understand it in the fact that we've not won anything.
“We still have a lot of motivation to try to win a Big 12 Championship, a regular season (championship), a tournament (championship) and try to go deeper in the NCAA Tournament.
“So for me, it hasn't been a problem as far as trying to motivate our guys every day in practice, because there are many things to remind them that we have not done.”