June 27, 2014
LOUISVILLE, Ky. - University of Louisville All-America guard Russ Smith was selected by the Philadelphia 76ers in the second round of the 2014 NBA Draft with the 47th overall pick, and was subsequently traded to the New Orleans Pelicans.
"I'm happy that I have an opportunity to be a part of an organization that wants to get better, " said Smith. "I'm ecstatic with the situation I'm in with New Orleans and I'm ready to contribute, help in the community and get to work for a team that loves me and traded for me."
Smith is the only Louisville player in history with at least 1,800 career points, 350 assists and 250 steals. He is the Cardinals' all-time leader in steals with 257, is fifth in career scoring at Louisville with 1,908 points, second in career free throws with 488, and is tied for eighth in career three-pointers with 179. As a senior, Smith averaged 18.2 points, 4.6 assists, 2.0 steals and shot 46.8 percent from the field, including 38.7 percent from three-point range as the Cardinals posted a 31-6 record in 2013-14, won the American Athletic Conference regular season and tournament championships and reached the NCAA Sweet 16.
A consensus All-America selection as a senior in 2013-14 and the 2014 AAC Tournament Most Outstanding Player, he was a candidate for national player of the year honors and was one of 10 finalists for the Senior CLASS award (first team All-America by AP, USBWA, The Sporting News, CBS Sports, NBC Sports, Bleacher Report, second team NABC). The two-time KenPom Player of the Year (2013, 2014) was among the top four for the Naismith Trophy presented by AT&T and among the top five on the John R. Wooden All-America team.
A 6-0 guard from Brooklyn, N.Y., Smith was a part of the most successful four-year period in the Cardinals' storied basketball history. He helped Louisville win 121 games since the 2010-11 season (121-31, .796), 11 more than the next closest group that just finished last year (110-38). Smith helped the Cardinals reach two NCAA Final Fours, two Big East Tournament Championships and one with the American Athletic Conference, two regular season co-conference titles (one Big East, one American), and three straight NCAA Sweet 16 appearances.
A total of 66 former Louisville players have been selected in the NBA Draft, the last prior to this year being in 2013 when Gorgui Dieng and Peyton Siva were selected in the first and second rounds, respectively. Dieng was a first-round selection and the 21st overall pick by the Utah Jazz, while Siva was a second round choice of the Detroit Pistons with the 56th pick overall. Dieng's rights were subsequently traded to the Minnesota Timberwolves, where Dieng he played his rookie year in the NBA last season.
Louisville has produced 21 first-round NBA Draft choices, including 11 in the top ten and five among the top three picks (Pervis Ellison first in 1989; Wes Unseld second in 1968; Darrell Griffith second in 1980; Charlie Tyra second in 1957; Rodney McCray third in 1983).