Originally written on StraitPinkie.com  |  Last updated 4/24/13
Hug your kids! Hug your wife! Russ Smith is returning to give us one last Russdiculous season!! With Russ back, the Cards have a real shot of repeating as national champions next season.  Undoubtably the Cards will be ranked in the top 5 when the season starts.  In fact, the early polls suggest that Kentucky and Louisville will top the polls. Pitino and Russ held a press conference this afternoon to announce the decision.  From all of the light hearted quotes that have came from the presser, it seems like both are thrilled.  Russ cited the fact that he would actually have to clean his room if he left town.  Whether he was joking or being serious about that being a factor is still up for debate.  He also said ”I really realized how much I love playing with my teammates. I love to win and with the group we have coming back, I want to come back as a winner, as well as graduate.” Smith will be the first person in his family to graduate from college.  Lost in the basketball reasoning for coming back, that really is a feat that should be looked at.  For a young man to actually want to come back for academic reasons is admirable.  Many college students would do anything to get out of school early.  This just goes on to prove how special of a person we have in Russ Smith. Smith kept cracking jokes throughout the entire press conference including saying that he is chomping at the bit to make jokes to the incoming freshman. He said that he wanted to go through senior night and get an official goodbye too.  That is one thing that both him and the fans have in common. Pitino said a major factor was some of the feedback that he got back from the NBA officials that he reached out to.  The NBA said that they wanted Russ to put on 10 pounds of muscle, better his shot selection and show the ability to play point guard.  Which means we may see a new and improved Russ Smith next season. It is a time to celebrate if you are a Louisville fan!  What a great day and the road to defending the title starts today. Also that game in Russ Arena next year is going to be AWESOME! GO CARDS and GO RUSS!!!
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