A rested Russ Smith ready for UK Game

INDIANAPOLIS – University of Louisville senior All-American Russ Smith earned another honor this week, but he's focused on helping his team win. Smith updates us on his health and his feelings as the Cardinals head into Friday's game with Kentucky in the NCAA Tournament Sweet 16.

The last time we saw University of Louisville senior Russ Smith, the All-American was talking about being tired and banged up.

Smith sat in his locker last Saturday in Orlando, Fla., pointing to his jammed thumb and noting he "just want to get home."

Louisville left Orlando with two wins even with Smith hitting just 6 of 19 from the field and turning the ball over 13 times against Manhattan and St. Louis.

"That's my fault, I could have played better," Smith said. "It's not necessarily that I think I played bad, but I could have made better decisions when I had the ball.

"Overall, I played OK. I ran the show well against St. Louis and had a good last three minutes against Manhattan. I just need to make better decisions."

Smith said his health is "just fine" and noted that he's ready to play Kentucky on Friday night after getting some rest this weekend.

"I stayed in and rested this week," he said. "I got a chance to get some rest and I think that was good for me. The thumb? It's fine."

Senior Luke Hancock said after two sub-par efforts in Orlando, he fully expects to see the Russ Smith we are all accustomed too this evening.

"The Russ Smith I know can get 50 anytime and that's the Russ Smith I expect to see out there the next game for us," Hancock said.

Smith did get another honor this week, being names one of four finalists for the Naismith Award as the top player in college basketball.

"That's pretty amazing," he said. "I am grateful. But I am pretty sure a lot of other players out there that are worthy of the award.

I'm just happy to follow up the season I had last year and to follow it up like this has been pretty incredible."

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