As part of the Louisville team that won the NCAA championship game, Russ Smith had quite a run in his junior season. The 6’1″ guard from Brooklyn averaged over 18 points per game will now have to decide whether he wishes to return to Rick Pitino’s team for his senior year or enter the NBA.
Well, according to his father, the decision is already made, and Russ Smith will be entering the NBA Draft. Via SI:
“I told him, ‘Man, this is how you go out,’” Smith Sr. said. “All the people who doubted you since high school, you proved them wrong. You have back-to-back (Big East) championships, then you come back and win the national championship. All that hard work comes from working you out since you was three years old, running the beach, running the stairs, running with medicine balls, a boxing bag, it paid off.”
Smith Jr. is nicknamed “Russdiculous” by Louisville coach Rick Pitino for his penchant for taking crazy shots. Though Smith missed 13-of-16 in Louisville’s title game win over Michigan, his father says he is still leaving on a great note.
“When you go out, you want to go out with a national championship,” Smith Sr. said. “He’s got five rings: back-to-back Big East, back-to-back Final Four, national championship. What other way to go out?”
So that’s it?
Russ Smith struggled mightily in Louisville’s win over Michigan, shooting just 3-16 from the field. With that in mind, winning the Big East and the national championship in the same season will help his draft stock.
What else is there really to do in the college game?
Plus, it’s hard for anyone to turn down the NBA paycheck.
-Mark Evans, Assistant Manager/Editor of Content
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