Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Louisville's Russ Smith returning to school

After Louisville won the national championship, Cardinals guard Russ Smith had announced his intentions to go pro. Well it was more his dad than Smith, as he seemed to be on the fence about leaving for the NBA.

After a few weeks of "sleepless nights", Smith had a change of heart and will be returning to Louisville for his senior season.

At a press conference Smith admitted to not being a surefire firs round pick and his love for Louisville.

"Obviously I wasn't a clear-cut first-round pick, so coming back for me was because of coach, my teammates, the Louisville campus and community and graduating," Smith said. "I never really got an official goodbye, so that stuck with me. I want to do senior night. There were just a lot of things as a person that I want to do."

Smith's return makes the Cardinals a threat to repeat as national champions. Louisville will be loaded on the perimeter with Smith, Luke Hancock, Wayne Blackshear and perhaps Kevin Ware on the wings and newcomers Chris Jones and Terry Rozier combining to run the point. Gorgui Dieng's departure leaves a void in the middle, but Chane Behanan will be back at power forward and Montrezl Harrell showed enough flashes of promise as a shot blocker and rebounder to suggest he may be ready for an increased role.

With Jones and Rozier coming in it's doubtful that Smith will get to show that he's an NBA ready point guard to scouts, but Smith likes winning so that probably doesn't matter too much to him.

"I love to win," Smith said. "With the group we have coming back, I want to go out as a winner, as well as to get my degree."

Look for Louisville along with Kentucky and Michigan State to be at the top of the polls once the college basketball season starts.

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