Russ Smith finished his career as the school's all-time leader in steals.
March 31, 2014
LOUISVILLE, Ky. - University of Louisville's Russ Smith captured a pair of impressive individual accolades on Monday, earning Associated Press and Wooden Award All-America first team honors by both organizations.
With the AP first-team honor, Smith becomes Louisville's sixth consensus All-American. The elite company he joins 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 received the third-most votes (54 first-team votes) on the AP All-America team, while being one of the top five vote-getters for the Wooden Award All-America team.
Along with Smith, Connecticut's Shabazz Napier and Connecticut's Sean Kilpatrick earned AP first-team honors, marking the first time one conference had three players picked since the Atlantic Coast Conference in 2001-02 with Duke's Shane Battier and Jason Williams and North Carolina's Joseph Forte.
As a Wooden Award first team All-American, Smith and head coach Rick Pitino are invited to Los Angeles for the Wooden Award Gala on April 10-12.
Earlier this month, Smith collected first team All-America honors from The Sporting News and the U.S. Basketball Writers Association. He also received All-America accolades from Sports Illustrated, NBC Sports, and The Bleacher Report. Last week, the 6-foot guard was named a National Association of Basketball Coaches second team All-American.
The Brooklyn, N.Y., native finished his senior campaign averaging 18.2 points, 4.6 assists, and 2.0 steals this season. His 172 assists in 2013-14 are the seventh most in a single season in school history. During the 2013-14 season, he became the only player in school history with at least 1,800 career points, 350 assists, and 250 steals. In the Cardinals' NCAA Tournament second-round game, Smith passed former teammate Peyton Siva as the school's all-time career steals leader with 256 thefts.
Smith, the USBWA District IV Player of the Year, is a unanimous all-AAC first team member. He earned AAC Championship Most Outstanding Player accolades after averaging 25.7 points, 3.7 assists, and 2.7 steals through three games. He connected on 53.2 percent of his shots, including 53.8 percent from long-range, during that span.
The 6-foot guard is the only player in the American Athletic Conference to rank among the top five in league-only stats in scoring (18.0 points per game), assists (4.7), steals (2.3), and 3-point percentage (.474).
Currently, Smith is one of four finalists for the Naismith Men's College Player of the Year Trophy and one of 15 on the final ballot for the prestigious John R. Wooden Award ballot.
Collectively, Smith is part of the winningest senior class in school history at 121-30 (.801) with Tim Henderson, Luke Hancock, and Stephan Van Treese and has helped Louisville to two BIG EAST Tournament titles, the American Athletic Conference Tournament crown, four-consecutive NCAA Tournaments, two NCAA Final Fours, and a school-record 35 wins en route to the 2013 NCAA Championship.