April 9, 2014
LOUISVILLE, Ky. -
University of Louisville men's basketball's Russ Smith is the first two-time recipient of the KenPom.com Player of the Year award, the site announced Tuesday. The guard earned the accolade following the conclusion of the 2014 season.
According to KenPom.com, Smith posted a 114 offensive rating, while using 31 percent of the Cardinals' possessions when he was on the floor. That was the fourth-highest offensive rating among players using at least 30 percent of their team's possessions. In addition, he recorded 3.96 steals per 100 possessions, which ranked 32nd in the nation, while playing 29 minutes per game for the nation's fourth-ranked defense. Playing more possessions as a point guard, he assisted on a career-high 31.6 percent of his teammates' made baskets.
Smith became the school's sixth consensus All-American after collecting first-team honors from the Associated Press, The Sporting News, and the U.S. Basketball Writers Association, while collecting NABC second-team accolades.
The Brooklyn, N.Y., native will be attending the John R. Wooden Award as one of five first team Wooden Award All-Americans on Friday at the Los Angeles Athletic Club in Los Angeles, Calif.
The 6-foot Smith 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.
For his career that started in 2010-11, Smith totaled 1,908 points in 133 games, 359 rebounds, 378 assists, and 257 steals. He made 488 career free throws, which ranks second all-time in school history. His 180 made 3-pointers is tied for eighth most in a career with Francisco Garcia (2002-05).
Collectively, Louisville finished No. 1 in the KenPom.com team ratings for the second-straight season, the first team to accomplish that feat since Florida achieved No. 1 in 2006 and 2007. This year, the Cardinals boasted the No. 4 adjusted defense rating and No. 15 adjusted offense rating.