Change Of Plans, Russ Smith Might Be Back For One More Year

Rick Pitino

Rick Pitino was a guest this morning on 790 AM with Drew Deener, the host of the Early Birds. As you could expect, the interview started with a lot of questions about the championship run and what not. However, as the interview went on there were questions about the future of the program.

Pitino has somewhat changed his tune in regards to which players will for sure be back. Unfortunately, Pitino says Gorgui Dieng is 100% gone and he is absolutely certain that he won’t be back for his senior season. We had heard yesterday that Russ Smith was gone for sure as well, but Pitino said today that it’s 50/50. Pitino also said that Russ wasn’t really happy about what his father had to say following the national championship on Monday.

On what he is telling Russ Smith & Gorgui Dieng

I’m giving them fatherly advice. I’m not telling them to stay and I’m not telling them to leave. I’m giving them advice.

The impact if Russ Smith leaves.

It’s not going to affect our team in a negative way, because we’re going to be very strong in the backcourt. We feel like we’ve got a three headed monster.

Behanan and Blackshear

Chane and Wayne have to really commit themselves to skill development. Wayne took a major step back after his two injuries. Now he has to progress by working on his ball handling and arc on his jump shot. Chane needs to work on his 1-on-1 game and change his jump shot. He needs to learn how to play like he did in the last ten minutes on Monday, each game.

On his recent string of good luck.

I’m heading to Miami soon and if I can get to a place where Pitbull is playing, then I’ll know the good luck is still with me.

About Nick Coffey

Nick Coffey
Nick Coffey is the creator and lead publisher for TheCardinalConnect.com. Along with covering Louisville basketball, football and recruiting, Nick has worked in sports talk radio for over three years.

43 comments

  1. I really think Russ should come back for one more to play the point guard to prove to NBA scouts that he can handle the responsibilities of running a team.

    • Smith better go this year because if he stays and wait till next he will not make the first 25. It is weak this yr. and he will have a better chance

    • Im getting tired of seeing and hearing this…”Russ needs to come back and play the PG so he can show NBA teams he can do it”. Look, Rick is going to do whats best for the team, he’s not going to play Russ at the point just so he can get more NBA ready. He will play Russ at the position that gives us the best chance to win and that is shooting guard. We have the highest ranked Juco in the Nation coming and he’s a PG and we have another guy coming in who is one of the best PG’s in his class. I think it’s a slight to the other players on our team when people say this…..like this is Russ’s World and his teammates just happen to live in it.

      And this is the reason Russ should go now. He has nothing left to prove as a 2 guard, everyone knows what he can do there. And he isnt going to be a PG at Louisville. If an NBA team wants Russ they will draft him and THEY will turn him into what they want him to be.

  2. Russ should go if he wants to get drafted. The draft class is too strong next year.

  3. He should go to the NBA. He’s “smallish” for an NBA guard, and his stock is at a very high level coming off the NCAA championship. Next year’s class of seniors and players likely to go to the NBA early is predicted to be much stronger than this year’s, so he risks his value going down next year.

    Plus, he can’t afford to get injured for “free”. i.e. his teammate’s horrific broken leg, Robbie Hummell, etc.

    He should go “while the getting is good”

  4. If he comes back he could improve his stock. Because as of right now he is projected late second round, so if he stays he will have a better chance of getting drafted higher.

  5. Russ should stay. Get us another banner, and keep our hot steak alive.

    • another banner lmao u know big blue is taking it home next year

      • You stinking Big Blue fans said that this year too. Oh yeah, you didn’t even make the tourney and got bounce in the first round of the NIT. Shut the hell up and act like you have some clsss, WE are the Champs, show some respect!!!

        • Yea because last years team was just as talented as the recruiting class for this year. Obviously your an idiot if you think that’s the case. 8 > 3 so you shut the hell up.

          • No you stinkin UK fans need to shut the hell up bc this was a comment board for Russ smith and his future! Why do all UK fans have to make everything about them? No one was even talking to you so STFU! And keep talk shit bc you saw what happend to John walls class, number one recruiting class get beat by a nobody in the tourney. Simple fact dudes, freshmen will never play together without leadership. They will be selfish and all looking for the spotlight which can’t be done when trying to win a national title. Good luck next season cats bc Louisville doesn’t give a shit who you have we still gunna rock you!

  6. Cynthia Crockett-Howell

    Russ should return to school and finish his education….with a degree you don’t have to worry about first or second round…if it is meant to be ….NBA will be there…needs to improve on basketball skills and decision-making……

  7. Rozier will be the starting point guard.

  8. If Gorgui and Russ wnat to go to the NBA then I wish them nothing but the best. In my honest opinion though I do not think either is ready for the next level. Russ will be a quick guard in the NBA but so are most of the other guards. He can shoot and get to the rim but the path to the basket in the NBA is tougher than college. Gorgui has come a long way but lacks strength to battle inside with the bigs in the NBA. He is not a ball handler and I think will struggle big time. For their sake I hope the come back but i wish them all the best. I know it is a tough decision either way. Thank you gentlemen for all you done so far for the University. Go CARDS.

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