ONE-ON-ONE: Smith and Smith
I sat down with Brittney Smith '11 and Margaret Smith '10 to discuss the success of the Dartmouth women's basketball team over the past few years and the players' outlook for the season.
You two were both very highly recruited players coming out of high school. What kind of schools did you turn down to come here? What made you want to come to Dartmouth?
BS: I turned down Nevada, Siena, Long Beach State and Washington State, and I came to Dartmouth because I wanted to go to a school with great academics and athletics. My sister came to Dartmouth a year before me, so she also told me how great it was and encouraged me to come.
MS: I was recruited by a few schools in Texas like TCU, Texas A&M and [the University of Texas, Arlington], as well as other schools in the south, like New Mexico State, University of Arizona and Arkansas. When I came to visit Dartmouth, I knew that this was the best school for me because I had positive interactions with the players and coaching staff on the basketball team, as well as various administrators and professors. The weather in Hanover was very different from what I was used to in Texas, and I wanted to experience living in the Northeast.
Brittney, was the opportunity to play with your sister a big factor for you coming here?
BS: Yes, because we are really close, and we share most of the same interests, so when she came here freshman year and loved it, I knew I would too.
What would you say were the best games of your respective careers, high school or otherwise?
BS: My best game was against [the University of Pennsylvania] last year when I scored my game high of 28 points. My offense and defense were really good, so I had a pretty good game all around.
MS: I played my best game last year when we went to my hometown to play against [Southern Methodist University] in Dallas. Most of my family was there cheering us on, and it was just great to play in front of the people who have supported me throughout my basketball career.
Is it true that your coach schedules a game in the hometown of every player at some point in her career?
MS: Our coach does try to schedule games in the hometown of each player on the team, which is great because we get a chance to play at home. Just like when we played at [Southern Methodist], I had a great time playing in front of my family and friends.
Can you guys dunk?
BS: No, but I can get the rim.
MS: Unfortunately, I can't dunk. But I think it would be cool if I could.
Do you guys have plans to play basketball after graduation?
BS: Yes, I plan to play overseas for a couple of years. I'm not sure where at the moment.
MS: This will be my last year playing basketball, but I have had a great time playing this sport. I probably would continue playing basketball if my knees were in better shape.
Margaret, as a captain this year, what kind of expectations do you have for this year's team?
MS: I want everyone on the team to come together and learn more about each other on the court, so we can have great chemistry. I think our cohesiveness will make a big difference in the success of our season. Our team's ultimate goal this year, as it is every year, is to win the Ivy League championship, so we have to work together in order to accomplish this goal.
Do you feel pressure to repeat as Ivy champs?
MS: There is an expectation for us to win the championship again this year, which does add pressure, but it also gives us motivation to play hard and try to win it again.
BS: I wouldn't say that there is pressure because every year it is always our goal to win the Ivy championship.
How cool was it to play some of the bigger schools at some huge arenas last year?
MS: It was a lot of fun to be able to play schools with great basketball programs, like Maryland and Arkansas. Those games allowed us to play against some of the best players in the country, which was a great experience.
Are there any new players to watch this year?
MS: I think a few of the freshmen will contribute a lot to the team this year. It may be a little too early to tell exactly what their roles will be this year, but I'm looking forward to seeing them play with the team this year.
I was at Hoops Hype, but for those who weren't there, what kind of message do you want to send out to the fans to fill up Leede Arena?
MS: The purpose of Hoops Hype was to get more Dartmouth students to come support the men's and women's basketball teams. We wanted to send the message that their support at our home games will help us throughout the season this year.