HoopsHype Russ Smith rumors

May 26, 2014 Updates
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April 4, 2014 Updates

Meanwhile ESPN's Chad Ford recently wrote that Russ Smith improved his NBA chances by improving in just about every category as a senior. Smith showed, Ford wrote, that he "has settled down tremendously this season and has looked the part of a point guard for the first time in his career ... There's still the makings of an NBA point guard here. He's super quick, can get his shot off against anyone, has deep range on his jumper and he defends. As a change-of-pace guard coming off the bench, he might really help a team." Louisville Courier-Journal

March 31, 2014 Updates

Doug McDermott was a unanimous choice for the AP All-American First Team. McDermott is the first player to be on the All-American team in three straight seasons since Patrick Ewing and Wayman Tisdale in 1985. Shabazz Napier, Sean Kilpatrick and Russ Smith were also seniors named to the All-American First Team, while Jabari Parker was the fifth member. The second team consisted of Nick Johnson, Andrew Wiggins, Nik Stauskas, Melvin Ejim and T.J. Warren. RealGM

March 17, 2014 Updates

Dime: Montrezl Harrell and Russ Smith are both projected to go in the first round of the NBA Draft this year. What do you expect in the future from your two former teammates? Peyton Siva: I definitely think they’ll both make it. As per account of whoever I think they both have a legitimate shot to make it the NBA and have a great career. They are both great players and they’re proven winners. They are back-to-back champions in their conference and they both won a National Championship. I think they will have great careers wherever they end up, whatever round they end up going. Dime

Dime: If you were an NBA general manager, who would you pick in this year’s draft? Who is most NBA-ready? PS: The one guy most NBA ready: I got to go with my guy Russ Smith. I’m Louisville biased man, he’s my guy [laughs]. But also I like Jabari Parker. He’s a really solid player; he’s a really good player. Just watching a couple of their games, he’s kind of a do-it-all kind of player. Scorer, rebounder, I think he’s a real good talent. Dime

March 6, 2014 Updates

Smith's NBA potential became a popular topic, and the analysis wasn't pretty. Too small, some scouts said. Too erratic of a shooter. Smith had the frame (6-foot, 165 pounds) of a point guard but the skills and mentality of a two-guard. Ultimately, Smith decided to return to Louisville, a decision with which everyone agreed. "The pros want to see a different Russ," Cardinals coach Rick Pitino said last April. "They want to see 10 more pounds of muscle. They want to see better shot selection, a higher assist-turnover ratio." SI.com

February 22, 2014 Updates
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Smith thought he was set to go to the next level after last season. Then he found out that NBA scouts didn't necessarily agree. "It was more tough to find out that a lot of teams wouldn't maybe draft me or take me in the first round," he said. "Because when you look at guys that I put up numbers with in the tournament and the whole season, and just everything I've done, there should be no reason why." "It was more tough to find out that a lot of teams wouldn't maybe draft me or take me in the first round," he said. "Because when you look at guys that I put up numbers with in the tournament and the whole season, and just everything I've done, there should be no reason why." Smith called realizing that he wouldn't go in the first round "really humbling; so last year was probably one of the toughest times of my life." Lexington Herald-Leader

October 13, 2013 Updates

Even though Smith loved Louisville as much as you could possibly love a city, he was ready to chase his NBA dream. The tough part was hearing that NBA teams weren't necessarily ready to make it a reality, at least not yet. For Russ Smith, it was back to the start. "When you look at guys that put up numbers the way I did in the tournament and the whole season and just everything I've done here," Smith said, "I thought there should be no reason why I shouldn't go in the first round." But then U of L coach Rick Pitino told him otherwise, and the truth hurt. Smith said Pitino told him he would probably go in the draft's mid-to-late second round. He told him if he wanted to be a first-round pick, he needed to become more polished, more poised. "As I watched film and looked at myself, and Coach P talked to me about what certain teams want and what certain people want from me, I got to see it for myself," Smith said. "And it was really humbling." USA Today Sports

Smith wants to show NBA scouts what they have glossed over. But Pitino doesn't want him to focus too much on what's next, because that could affect what's now. "What he's doing to himself, at times, is putting stress on himself," Pitino said. "And stress is the enemy." USA Today Sports

April 24, 2013 Updates

Russ Smith is returning to Louisville. The 6-foot junior guard, who said shortly after the Cardinals won the national championship that he was declaring for the NBA Draft, will come back for his senior season. He made a formal announcement on Wednesday afternoon. "I love these guys and this team, and I don't want to leave them right now," Smith said at the news conference. "I never really got an official goodbye -- and that stuck with me," he added. CBSSports.com

April 23, 2013 Updates
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On Monday night, the Louisville star's father initially told reporters that his son had planned to enter the NBA draft following his team's run to the national title in Atlanta. Smith confirmed his father's statement when he told SiriusXM "College Sports Nation" radio hosts Mark Packer and Bruce Pearl that "this is the right time" the following day. But Rick Pitino, who had also confirmed Smith's departure at the team's pep rally earlier this week, said Thursday morning that the junior guard is still on the fence about going pro. "Russ, I think, is 50-50," he told Sports Radio 790 in Louisville. "He's a very confused young man in terms of his decision right now. He didn't want his dad to say that about him coming out. He wanted time to think of it." ESPN.com

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