As if we needed more drama surrounding the Russ Smith situation, Rick Pitino told Drew Deener this morning that Russ Smith was about 50/50 on staying or leaving right now. He also added in the same interview that Dieng is 100% gone.
Pitino added that Little Russ wasn’t very happy with Big Russ going around and telling all of the media outlets that he was going pro. He said that Russ wanted a couple days to sit back and think about it before making the decision.
As much as I’d love to have Russ back next year, this may be his time to make the jump if he is going to. With how small he is, you have to imagine that there is a ceiling at where he can possibly be drafted. An early second round pick is nothing to be ashamed of but its hard to see an NBA team taking a stretch with a first round pick on him. Obviously we know that he can play but the scouts don’t sit and watch all of his games like us fans do.
The scouts make decisions based on the frame of the player and Russ simply doesn’t have the build of the guys they look for. And that doesn’t mean that Russ wont be a success in the NBA because we all have seen how he can score n0 matter who is guarding him. It just means that from a scouts perspective he may be vastly overlooked and put to the side for later. A perfect example of this is Michael Carter-Williams, there is no way that you can tell me that as an overall basketball player Russ Smith didn’t outplay him when Syracuse and Louisville played. But MCW’s body frame is something that NBA teams want so he is a first round draft pick while Russ is in the second round.
I cannot imagine what Russ Smith is going through right now making this decision. For me, as long as Russ makes the right decision for himself I will be happy.