LOUISVILLE, Ky. – Russ Smith added another prestigious national accolade to an already impressive list this season and what’s turning into a highly decorated year for the senior. The U.S. Basketball Writers Association named Smith a first-team All-American on Wednesday.
Smith, Louisville’s first USBWA All-American since Clifford Rozier achieved the feat in 1994, now has collected two of the four distinctions needed to earn consensus All-America honors. He was named a first team Sporting News All-American on Monday.
Should the Brooklyn, N.Y., native add first-team honors from the Associated Press and the National Association of Basketball Coaches, he would become Louisville’s sixth consensus All-American. The elite list currently consists of Charlie Tyra (1956-57), Wes Unseld (1966-67; 1967-68), Darrell Griffith (1979-80), Pervis Ellison (1988-89), and Clifford Rozier (1993-94).
Smith, who received Sports Illustrated All-America consensus first team accolades late Tuesday, already has been named a first team All-American by three other media outlets: The Sporting News, NBC Sports, and The Bleacher Report. Early this week, the 6-foot guard was named one of 15 student-athletes to the John R. Wooden Award ballot.
The 2013-14 USBWA District IV Player of the Year and an all-AAC first team member is averaging 17.5 points on a career-best 46.8 percent shooting, including a 39.4 percent stint from beyond the arc, and 4.8 assists.
He is just the fourth player in school history with at least 1,700 points, 300 assists, and 200 steals. His 1,779 career points ranks No. 8 all-time in school history, and he is 27 shy of LaBradford Smith for seventh (1,806 points, 1987-91). With 63 steals this season, moving his career total to 246, Smith is eight shy of tying former teammate Peyton Siva (254 steals) for the school record.
Smith is part of the winningest senior class in school history with Tim Henderson, Luke Hancock, and Stephan Van Treese and has helped Louisville to two BIG EAST Tournament titles three-consecutive NCAA Tournaments, two NCAA Final Fours, and a school-record 35 wins en route to the 2013 NCAA Championship. On Senior Day against then-No. 19 Connecticut on Saturday, Smith totaled a career and conference-best 13 assists in a win that gave Louisville a share of the regular season conference title.
The No. 2 seed in the American Athletic Conference Tournament, the Cardinals face the winner of USF-Rutgers on Thursday, March 13. Tip is set for 3 p.m. in the FedEx Forum in Memphis, Tenn.