LOUISVILLE, Ky. (NEWS RELEASE) – Injuries hampered Russ Smith's early career. Now healthy, the guard's energetic and frenetic style of play is receiving national attention.
Smith notched a preseason All-America nod on Monday afternoon from The Associated Press, becoming Louisville’s first men’s basketball player since Pervis Ellison was honored in 1986 – the first year of the AP preseason All-America team.
Joining Smith on the five-man team are Oklahoma State’s Marcus Smith, Creighton’s Doug McDermott, Michigan’s Mitch McGary, and Kansas’ Andrew Wiggins.
Smith has already compiled an impressive preseason résumé just months after the Cardinals’ third NCAA title. The Brooklyn, N.Y., native, who elected to remain at Louisville for his senior season, enters the 2013-14 season as one of the top guards in the country.
Smith, who became the Cardinals’ 65th career 1,000-point scorer last season, has totaled 1,235 points and 183 steals through three seasons at Louisville.
He has the opportunity this year to break into the program’s top 10 for points in a career, putting himself among the likes of Darrell Griffith, DeJuan Wheat, and Ellison, and also challenge for the school record of 248 career steals, currently held by Peyton Siva.
In addition to being named American Athletic Conference Preseason Player of the Year, Smith has been tabbed as a preseason All-American by Blue Ribbon College Basketball Yearbook, which named him a first-team member, and earned CBSSports.com preseason All-America status.
Smith concluded his junior campaign as the 2013 Ken Pomeroy National Player of the Year, averaging 18.7 points and 2.1 steals. Smith also picked up other awards during the year for his on-the-court performance: all-BIG EAST first team, all-BIG EAST Tournament Team, and Midwest Regional Most Outstanding Player.
Last week, the co-captain Smith was named one of 30 candidates for the men’s basketball 2013-14 Senior CLASS Award, which is only eligible for student-athletes who are classified as an NCAA Division I senior and have notable achievements in four areas of excellence - community, classroom, character and competition.
Smith and the Cardinals return to action Wednesday for Louisville’s second and final exhibition game of the season, taking on NAIA power Pikeville on Nov. 6 at 7:07 p.m. in the KFC Yum! Center.