It's true. Smart's career high had been 28, in Bedlam last February.
Smart said his aggression against Memphis was “just something in me. Before the game, I went into a zone, just told myself, whatever I can to help the team win. I just came out real aggressive.”
Smart scored six points in 31 seconds early in the game, but he was just getting started. Smart's 12-point explosion, capped with that trey with 9:08 remaining in the first half, lifted OSU's lead from 17-16 to 29-20.
Then Smart fell victim to the siren song of such a stage. He started playing a little reckless. Some ill-advised shots. Some bad-decision passes. A flair for the dramatic is an intoxicating thing.
“When you're on a roll and you're a player like him, you know it,” Ford said. “You feel it. You feel almost invincible. You start forcing some things, and that's natural.”
But Smart's teammates rallied around him, playing well down the stretch of the first half, extending the halftime lead to 50-32. Smart returned to his normal self in the second half (3-of-5 shooting, total game control) and Memphis had no prayer.
Don't expect Smart to stay that way. The new normal just might be a guy able to take over a game with a shooting display that would impress even Kevin Durant.
Berry Tramel: Berry can be reached at (405) 760-8080 or at email@example.com. He can be heard Monday through Friday from 4:40-5:20 p.m. on The Sports Animal radio network, including FM-98.1. You can also view his personality page at newsok.com/berrytramel.