No more Russdiculous for Cards?

ATLANTA – If he does enter the NBA Draft, Russ Smith has left a lasting impression on the University of Louisville basketball program. Smith didn't have a good Final Four shooting the ball but was still the leading scorer for the NCAA national champion Cardinals, who beat Michigan on Monday in the title game.

University of Louisville junior guard Russ Smith didn't have his best stuff in the Georgia Dome for what could be the final two games of his career.

But despite some shooting struggles, Smith still helped the Cardinals win the school's third national title. U of L's leading scorer hit a big three-pointer in the second half of the championship game and finished with nine points and two assists in an 82-76 win over Michigan.

"I don't care, we won," Smith said with a smile after the game. "I told the guys before the game I was going hoopin' and I was going to try and do my part. I didn't care how we won it, I just wanted to win a championship."

Smith, who finished the six-game NCAA Tournament run with 134 points, finished the season as the Cardinals' points leader at 18.7 points a game.

And it appears he won't be returning.

Smith was uncertain of his future on Monday night, noting that "hopefully, I will get lucky," when he tests the waters for the NBA Draft. U of L coach Rick Pitino said he would tell Smith, Chane Behanan and Gorgui Dieng all three to test the waters.

"We'll see," Smith said. "It's something I have to talk to coach about and also to my dad. Hopefully, I will make the right choice."

But it seems his father, Russ Sr., has already made the decision. He asked Cardinal Authority on the floor Monday night, "What else can he do?"

"It's amazing all of the colleges that doubted him in high school," the elder Smith said. "Coaches kept saying he was small, he was small and look what he did. He helped carry this team two years and to a national championship.

"What else can you ask for?"

The elder Smith has told several media outlets on Tuesday that his son would definitely enter his name into the NBA Draft.

When he does leave, Smith will leave a Russdiculous legacy at U of L. The lightly-recruited Smith nearly transferred during his freshman season and again prior to his sophomore year, only to become one of the top guards in the country.

Pitino nicknamed him Russdiculous for his sometimes crazy play on the floor and many times crazy shots.

"He's improved so much," Pitino said recently.

Smith missed 13 of 16 shot in the title game but hit the big three-pointer and apparently that could be his last as a U of L player.

"It felt good to just see something go through the net," Smith said. "I took pieces of the net to make it feel like it went through the net all day."

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