Local News
3:18 pm
Wed April 24, 2013

U of L's Russ Smith Coming Back for Senior Season

Saying he wants to earn his degree and defend the school’s national championship, University of Louisville basketball player Russ Smith announced today that he’ll be back for his senior season.

Smith led the Cards in scoring this season and in the NCAA Tournament, which U of L won for the first time since 1986.

Smith has been wrestling with a decision on whether to enter the NBA draft.   He says he made up his mind this  morning after talking with coach Rick Pitino about his prospects in the league.

"I’m happy I finally got it off my chest," Smith said at a Wednesday press conference.    "(What was) crazy was after doing all the pros and cons of staying or going, the pros of staying were so much better than the pros of leaving." 

Pitino says it appeared that Smith, a 6-1 guard, would have been taken in the second round of the NBA draft.

"The pros want to see a different Russ Smith.  They want to see ten more pounds of muscle, they want to see better shot selection, a higher assist to turnover ratio.   More than anything else, they love his talent, but they want to see those things," Pitino said. 

Pitino says he’s confident Smith could be a first-round draft pick if he continues to improve his game.