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Despite earlier statement, Louisville’s Russ Smith to skip NBA draft

Apr 24, 2013, 3:41 PM EDT

Michigan v Louisville Getty Images

Young men have the right to change their mind.

Louisville guard Russ Smith has. Not long after the NCAA Tournament said he was going to pull a George Costanza and leave on a high note, walking away after the Cardinals won the NCAA title and entering the NBA draft.

But now he’s changed his mind, Smith is returning to college for another season, reports our sister blog CollegeBasketballTalk.

“If I would have left, I think I would have been shooting myself in the foot,” he said at a press conference on Wednesday afternoon. “I don’t think I was mature enough.”

“As much smoke as you thought I was blowing to people, I really didn’t know. I was really unsure until I woke up this morning.”

I think this is a smart move. Smith was a likely second round pick who would have had a battle just to make a roster. Guys in that spot should stay in college (unless circumstances force them out). This isn’t the head scratcher around the league that Marcus Smart of Oklahoma State staying in was — he was a lock top 10 pick, those kind of guys have the green light to come out.

Smith will get his NBA shot in a year. And likely even in 2014 will be a second round pick. That said, he is the kind of quick, scrappy player I think can make a nice career in the NBA. He’s just going to have to adjust his game — 6’0” shooting guards don’t exist in the NBA. He’ll have to become a defense-minded, score-first point guard. He needs to develop a steady three point shot because without that teams will play off him and dare him to shoot. But scrappy players who can defend and are quick will catch a coach’s eye. He will get his shot.

Just next year.

  1. melohello - Apr 24, 2013 at 4:14 PM

    Hmm sounds like he got paid

  2. timb12 - Apr 24, 2013 at 4:48 PM

    Did he say pull a George Costanza? If he did I like this kid.

  3. Mr. Wright 212 - Apr 24, 2013 at 5:39 PM

    Looks like old man Russ will have to cut hair for another year (since that whole thing about King Russ going to the NBA came from HIM, not Jr.).

  4. imforbigblue - Apr 24, 2013 at 5:49 PM

    Who really cares you act as if this guy is a top five pick

    • cutthenets2013 - Apr 24, 2013 at 6:08 PM

      You should care since he drops 25+ points on your team on a regular basis when we play. It’s funny how we’re pretty silent you were when the second half of the season went on and now after you wanna pop back up when people on cbt were looking for you.

  5. prov1x - Apr 24, 2013 at 6:22 PM

    That’s the blue we’ve been missing. Licked your wounds, eh? Sure were quiet January ’til now, though. Mommy let you use the computer again?

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