Originally written on StraitPinkie.com  |  Last updated 4/15/13
Russ Smith may not have won over the hearts of America during the regular season like Trey Burke, but statistically speaking he was the best player in college basketball.  For all the slack that Louisville fans were given from opposing fan bases for loving Pomeroy’s rankings, the man sure did know what he was talking about.  Not only did he rank Russ Smith, a player who lead his team to a title, as his player of the year but he also had Louisville as the #1 team in the country in his poll for a solid stretch of the season.  One could even argue that his rankings were more plausible than the AP Poll, after all the AP Poll had Gonzaga #1 at the end of the regular season. Here are the Top 10 players according to the kenpom system: 1. Russ Smith, Louisville, Jr. (kPOY rating=2.636) 2. Trey Burke, Michigan, So. (2.194) 3. Cody Zeller, Indiana, So. (1.991) 4. Deshaun Thomas, Ohio State, Jr. (1.841) 5. Mason Plumlee, Duke, Sr. (1.817) 6. Kelly Olynyk, Gonzaga, Jr.  (1.809) 7. Doug McDermott, Creighton, Jr. (1.761) 8. Otto Porter, Georgetown, So. (1.660) 9. Victor Oladipo, Indiana, Jr. (1.546) 10. Mike Muscala, Bucknell, Sr. (1.476) Also here a tidbit from Pomeroy’s blog post announcing Russ Smith as his player of the year: It is my honor to announce that Louisville’s Russ Smith is the winner of the 2013 kenpom.com Player of the Year award. Smith posted a 109 offensive rating while using a whopping 32 percent of Louisville’s while he was on the floor. He also played a key role in the Cardinals’ defense, which was rated the best in the land in adjusted defensive efficiency. After looking at shot chart data from last offseason, it seemed like a reasonable conclusion that it would benefit Louisville if Smith shot less this season. Smith did shoot slightly less, but mainly he elevated the Cardinals by making more of his many two-point attempts, approaching the D-I average in shots within six feet (53.7% vs. the national average of 54.5%) and two-pointers outside of six feet (33.5%, exactly the national average). Overall, Russ raised his two-point accuracy from 37.9% last season to 45.8% this season. Why wasn’t Russ considered for any other national awards? This is a difficult question to answer. It’s interesting that Russ Smith’s offensive numbers are nearly identical to Evan Turner’s 2010 season (109 ORtg/32% usage for Smith vs. 109/35% for Turner) Turner was consensus POY, while Russ couldn’t make second team All-American. Two things that I think voters failed to consider were Russ’s production at the free throw line and his low turnover rate. Of course, Russ continued to make a bunch of crazy decisions, and that was largely held against him. But at 6-0, 165, you’d probably never consider it a good idea to attack the rim if you made rational choices, so perhaps that character trait is overrated. While Russ’s field goal percentage was somewhat poor, the fact that he earned 276 free throw attempts and made 80 percent of them was a less-than-obvious benefit of his aggression. And it was a huge benefit. Part of the reason he was ineffective against Michigan was that he playing a team that didn’t foul. Smith drew an estimated 6.7 fouls per 40 minutes this season, ranking 17th in the country. He was one of two players in the top 20 listed at 6-3 or shorter.
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Report: Three teams achieve separation in Aldridge chase

WATCH: Serena Williams wags finger at Wimbledon crowd, says, 'Don’t try me'

Report: Rajon Rondo headed to Sacramento Kings

Dez Bryant deal with Cowboys could be announced Monday

Brandon Saad, Ryan O’Reilly sign long-term contracts with Columbus, Buffalo


Mavs solidify future, sign Wesley Matthews, DeAndre Jordan

A-Rod, Yankees settle dispute over home run milestone bonus

Report: Robin Lopez, Knicks finalizing four-year deal

Becky Hammon will coach Spurs' Summer League team

Jimmy Butler on Derrick Rose: ‘I don’t think we have any issues’

Yankees get A-Rod's 3,000th hit ball for $150,000 donation

The top American sports moments since the last Fourth of July

Nine former college football rivalries that need to come back

The most patriotic uniforms in American sports

Jeanie Buss: Brother Jim will step down if Lakers don't make deep run within two seasons

DeAndre Jordan to Dallas: The Los Angeles Clippers are literally mad men

Remember when the Cincinnati Bearcats were the scariest team in America?

Are the Angels now the worst organization in baseball?

Five reasons the Browns should play Johnny Manziel

Blue Jays need rookies to keep producing for success in 2015

WATCH: Sean Doolittle gets cup check from teammate

University of Florida developing high-tech smart mouth guard

Pat McAfee is the best punter in NFL history

College Basketball News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Russell Wilson 'would definitely consider' playing for Mariners

Solo, Rapinoe among USWNT stars up for World Cup awards

LBS on Sports Jeopardy! Here's how how it went

College football's 35 most patriotic helmets

A brief history of non-star All-Stars

With Love retained, the Cavs can take care of LeBron

Grading the deal: Davis commits to Pelicans

Obama Administration: Change name if Redskins move to D.C.

Deciding what the All-Star Game means

Odell Beckham Jr. offered professional baseball contract

Orioles keep finding a way to win

Lloyd sends USWNT to World Cup final

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.