Thursday, April 25th, 2013 at 4:35 pm  |  29 responses

Russ Smith Returning to Louisville Next Season

Russ Smith was one of the most exciting players in the entire NCAA tournament, having averaged 22.3 points during his postseason run to the national title. After leading the Cardinals to a 35-5 record and the program’s first NCAA title since 1986, many were expecting the Brooklyn native to make the jump to the NBA, especially after big man Gorgui Dieng announced he was leaving for the Draft. But the 6-1 guard announced yesterday that he was staying put for another year–shocking many. Whether this was the right move or not, only time will tell. From the Courier-Journal: “Meet the new Russ Smith. He is less rash and more reasoned, less impulse and more intellect, a high-wire basketball star who has grown progressively grounded. The University of Louisville’s frenetic guard is learning to temper his impetuous tendencies, to pause and ponder his alternatives instead of forcing issues that are still fluid. Confronted by a tantalizing opportunity to turn pro, Smith oscillated back and forth like a musician’s metronome before deciding Wednesday to stick around for his senior year. He did not choose quickly, but he did choose wisely. He did not make one of his harrowing dribble-drives toward oblivion; he pulled back in order to see the whole floor. Russ Smith has grown up, it turns out, and he may yet grow rich. “He changed his mind to me a couple of times,” U of L coach Rick Pitino said. “He said, ‘Coach, I’m staying,’ then he sent me a long text that he’s going to go. I said, ‘If you’ve thought about it, I’ll back you up 100 percent, no problem.’ Then the father called me and said, ‘I think he’s staying.’ ”

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  • KevinJohnsonFan

    Not sure it’s going to matter unless he somehow has a growth spurt in the next 12 months. He’ll still be an undersized scoring guard next season and he’ll be in a much better draft than this year’s. Should have come out this year. He’ll be in the mold of a Nate Robinson except a little taller.

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    huge mistake. no chance he’s going in the first round next year at all.

  • LLC#12

    Why? Already achieved the biggest goal in college, his stock isn’t gonna get higher, and its a weak draft this year…crazy.

  • Max

    Not a good move imo, this year is a weak draft and he’s coming off an amazing run in the tourney and they won.

  • http://twitter.com/Jzakoni Sanchez

    you dont think he’ll pull off another good year?

  • http://twitter.com/Jzakoni Sanchez

    you really think so?

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    next years draft is going to be in that 2003/1996/1984 discussion my dood

  • k

    2014 DRAFT is gonna be stacked, wiggins, parker, randle etc…. maybe he’s doing it to finish his education, and i respect that…but he’s just won the biggest prize and has been compared to Iverson (personally i don’t think so)…. GET IT WHILE YOUR STOCK IS HOT BROOOOO

  • http://twitter.com/Jzakoni Sanchez

    cmon he can atleast get to the late first round lol

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    not next year. the guys in the late 1st round next year, are fringe lottery picks this year. not even kidding.

  • bike

    He’s not even in the top 30 of most mock draft projections for 2013. So staying another year isn’t necessarily a bad decision for him. Money isn’t everything to everyone.

  • http://twitter.com/Jzakoni Sanchez

    damn. i’ll take your word for it. that seems to be what everyones waiting for.. next years draft

  • The Seed

    He is a poor man’s kemba walker. So he is a second round pick, that’s it now or later.

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    check it out, there is 2 people in this whole Mock Draft’s first round 21 or over….



  • KingBenjamin

    I don’t understand why any college player who just won a national title would return to school if he’s projected to get drafted. Dumb, dumb, dumb decision by Russ Smith but it doesn’t matter, either way he was going to be a 2nd round pick, a poor man’s Eric Maynor at best.

  • Lupe

    Ultimately, it seems that everyone thinks he is going to probably end up in Europe one day – which, I’d take compared to say, playing for the Bobcats or Bucks or something. So if he is going to play in Europe, he might as well play in Europe with his degree. Already will have something that sets him apart ha

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000166716900 Anthony Darnello Taylor Jr.

    especially with guys like poythrese staying, cauley-stein too. Doug McDermot, these guys are going to be mid to late first rounders if that.

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    True. It’s just a drastic difference. The projected 6th pick next year would go 1st this year. And it wouldn’t be much of a hard choice at all.

  • Max

    Yes I do, but his stock won’t be ass high I think because
    1: The draft class will be better.
    2: He won’t likely have the same succes at the end of the season next year.
    3: He’ll be another year older (doesn’t matter that much).
    The good thing is he’ll have something the fall back on with his degree.

  • http://www.facebook.com/cardiac.is.here Evan Harris

    To stay and develop your game? It’s not dumb.

  • http://twitter.com/Jzakoni Sanchez

    so many future one and dones!

  • http://twitter.com/Jzakoni Sanchez

    good ol college degree.

  • http://twitter.com/trueballer4lif1 Melvin flynt

    Bad move get out while your hot 3yrs good enough’


    I wouldve left. A ton of people always say stick around, get an education, mature as a player, etc. I say strike while the iron is hot. You can always go back to school; you cant always play in the league. Go for your dream and go to the league. This draft is weak and he led his team in scoring on his way to a national championship. I wouldve left. It’s never a bad chocie to go back to school, but I wouldve left

  • LP

    That’s that molly wearing off….Good choice

  • R32

    The 2nd coming of Alan Anderson

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000166716900 Anthony Darnello Taylor Jr.

    LOL right ! I have my reservations about next year though as I do every year, but I do see a butt load of talent. Really should be the best since 03, but what is weird to me is that as of right now you can pick any of the top 5 if you get first pick and be ok.

  • Be Cool

    In layman’s terms, he found out that he wouldn’t be a first round draft pick…

  • KingBenjamin

    He had 3 years to do so, another year won’t do anything for him to develop his game.