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Season preview: CHD interviews Louisiana Tech PG Kenneth “Speedy” Smith

To prepare for the tip-off of another great year of college basketball, CHD is reaching out to coaches and players around the country to get the inside scoop on what we can expect this time around. Jon Teitel continues our season preview series by chatting with Louisiana Tech guard Kenneth “Speedy” Smith about being one of the best defenders and passers in the nation.

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Your nickname is “Speedy”: who gave you the nickname, and how do you like it? My grandmother gave me the nickname when I was born. It is a Grade-A nickname that has stuck with me my entire life.

You grew up in Florida: what made you choose Louisiana Tech? I only had one D-1 offer so it was a great opportunity for me to continue playing basketball at the highest level.

You play for Coach Mike White: what makes him such a good coach, and what is the most important thing that you ever learned from him? We are able to relate to each other on many levels because he is a former point guard. He makes me better both as a player and as a person.

In 2012 you played in all 34 games and set freshman school records for assists and steals in a season: how were you able to come in and contribute so quickly? I was trusted to be a part of the system so I took advantage of the opportunities that were presented to me.

In the 2014 NIT quarterfinals you had 16 points and six assists and a career-high 14 rebounds in a 3-point loss to Florida State: do you think the Seminoles were out for revenge after you beat them in the 2013 NIT, and how does a 6’3” PG get so many rebounds against such a tall team?! I have to pick and choose when to go hard after rebounds, especially because transition defense is so important. I think they were out for revenge and it was a tough loss for us.

Last year you were named conference DPOY after finishing seventh in the country with 2.5 steals per game: what did it mean to you to receive such an outstanding honor? It was a goal for our team to basically say that we have the best defense in the conference. There was no way I could have gotten that award on my own: in my opinion it was a team award.

Your 278 assists last year set a conference record and was second in the nation: what is your secret for being a good point guard? There is no secret really: I am just blessed to be able to see the court and see things developing quickly.

What are your goals for the upcoming season, and what are your expectations for the upcoming season? This is my senior year, so the goals are to be conference champions, get to the NCAA tourney, and have some fun throughout the process!

JonTeitel