Russ Smith (basketball)

American basketball player

Encyclopedia from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Russ Smith
Russ Smith (basketball) 2013.jpg
Smith in 2013
Free agent
PositionPoint guard
Personal information
Born (1991-04-19) April 19, 1991 (age 30)
New York City, New York
Listed height6 ft 0 in (1.83 m)
Listed weight166 lb (75 kg)
Career information
High school
CollegeLouisville (2010–2014)
NBA draft2014 / Round: 2 / Pick: 47th overall
Selected by the Philadelphia 76ers
Playing career2014–present
Career history
2014–2015New Orleans Pelicans
2014–2015Fort Wayne Mad Ants
2015Memphis Grizzlies
2015Iowa Energy
2016Delaware 87ers
2016Galatasaray Odeabank
2017Delaware 87ers
2017Luoyang Zhonghe
2017–2018Fujian Sturgeons
2018Luoyang Zhonghe
2018-2019Fujian Sturgeons
2019-2020Guizhou White Tigers
Career highlights and awards
*Later vacated
Stats Edit this at Wikidata at
Stats at

Russ Anton Smith (born April 19, 1991) is an American professional basketball player for the Guizhou White Tigers of the National Basketball League (NBL). He played college basketball for the Louisville Cardinals, playing a starring role as a junior in helping them win the 2013 NCAA championship, while earning third-team All-American by the NABC and the Sporting News.[1][2] As a senior at Louisville, he was named a consensus first-team All-American.

High school career

Smith was born in New York City at NY Presbyterian Hospital to Paulette A. O'Neal and Russell Smith. He went to Archbishop Molloy High School in Queens, N.Y. and played basketball for head coach Jack Curran. He led the New York City Catholic league (CHSAA) in scoring as a junior averaging 24.5 points a game and as a senior averaging 29.6 points,[3] he also had a 7.3 rebound and 3.2 assist average his final season for the Molloy Stanners. His career high in points was 47, which he reached twice as a senior against St. Francis Prep and Christ the King. Smith was named to the 2009 New York State Sportswriters Association all-state team, made the first-team all-CHSAA "AA", and New York Daily News All-Queens first team as a senior. He played in the 2009 Jordan Brand Classic Regional Game at Madision Square Garden on April 18. Where he scored 27 points and earned co-MVP honors as his City team beat the Suburban team 129–120. Russ played prep school basketball at South Kent School in 2010 averaging 19.7 points and 3.9 assists a game as South Kent went 20–12 on the season.[4]

US college sports recruiting information for high school athletes
Name Hometown High school / college Height Weight Commit date
Russ Smith
Brooklyn, NY Archbishop Molloy High School, NY
South Kent School, CT
6 ft 0 in (1.83 m) 165 lb (75 kg) Nov 15, 2009 
Recruiting star ratings: Scout:2/5 stars   Rivals:3/5 stars   247SportsN/A    ESPN grade: 88

College career


Louisville overlooked Smith at first. Assistant coaches Ralph Willard and Steve Masiello were on a recruiting trip in South Kent in September 2009, looking at another player. They saw Smith, who they thought would be perfect for their system. Masiello had also known Smith's father since he was 15. Louisville started looking at Smith seriously, and Smith liked Louisville so much that he tried to commit before he had a scholarship offer.[3] Houston, LaSalle, Baylor and Arizona showed interest before he signed with the Cardinals.

Freshman year

Upon coming to school, Smith chose uniform #2. Injuries limited Smith's playing time as a freshman. He had a broken foot, concussion, strained foot, and sore knee during the season and only saw action in 17 games.[4] Smith was so miserable with the injuries and lack of playing time he decided to leave Louisville and go back home. He had even called his mom and told her he was coming home. But that day against West Virginia, coach Pitino put him in and told him to play hard. He had 3 points, 2 rebounds, one steal, and played good defense in his nine minutes of action.[5] Helping spark the Cardinals' comeback from down 11 to win by 1, when Peyton Siva hit a layup at the buzzer.[5] After that, he decided to stay. The Cardinals reached the championship game of the 2011 Big East Men's Basketball Tournament but lost to Connecticut.[6] Louisville finished the season 25–10, 12–6 in the 2010–11 Big East season tied for 3rd in the conference. They received an at-large bid and a #4 seed in the 2011 NCAA Tournament where they were upset in the second round by #13 seeded Morehead State 61–62.[7]

Sophomore year

During his sophomore year in 2011–12, Smith provided a spark off the bench. He was second in scoring despite being sixth in mins played for the Cardinals.[8] In January 2012 he earned the nickname "Russdiculous" given to him by head coach Rick Pitino, who has named a race horse "Russdiculous" also.[9] Smith set a school record for steals in a season with 87 steals in his 39 games played.[4] Louisville won four games in four nights to win the 2012 Big East tournament Championship. The Cardinals advanced to the Final Four of the 2012 NCAA Tournament, upsetting #1 seed Michigan State 57–44 in the sweet sixteen and defeating #7 seed Florida in the regional final, where Smith led Louisville with 19 points in the game.[10] Before losing in the national semifinals to arch-rival and eventual national champion Kentucky. Smith averaged 11.5 points, 2.5 rebounds, 1.9 assists, and 2.2 steals a game for the Cardinals, who finished the season with a 30–10 record.[11]

Junior year

Smith (left) and Peyton Siva (right) with the 2013 NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Tournament trophy.

Before the start of the 2012–13 basketball season the Louisville Cardinals men's basketball team was picked to finish 1st in the Big East Conference in polls done by Big East writers[12] and coaches.[13] Louisville finished the regular season with a 26–5 record and 14–4 in the Big East to tie for a share of the Big East regular season championship with Georgetown and Marquette, who also finished with a 14–4 conference record.[14] Smith learned about the death of his high school coach Jack Curran before the start of the 2013 Big East Tournament. Louisville played Villanova in their first game of the tournament, Smith scored 28 points and said "Today was definitely Coach Curran Day for me, and it will be the rest of my life" in postgame interview that aired live on ESPN.[15] Russ was named to the Big East All-Tournament Team[16] and his team won the Big East Tournament Championship game versus Syracuse by a score of 78–61 after trailing by 13 at halftime.[17]

Louisville, with a 29–5 record, was selected the #1 overall seed for the 2013 NCAA Tournament.[18] In his first two games of the NCAA tournament at Rupp Arena he had 23 points verses North Carolina A&T and had 27 against Colorado State. Louisville fans liked what Smith was doing on the floor so much they started chanting RussArena[19] near the end of the Colorado State game and made a Twitter hashtag #RussArena.[20] He tied his career high of 31 points and the Cardinals beat the Oregon Ducks 77–69 in the Sweet Sixteen.[21] In Louisville's 85–63 regional final win against Duke, Smith recorded 23 points and was subsequently named the Most Outstanding Player of the tournament's Midwest Region. During the Duke game Smith witnessed Kevin Ware suffer a horrible broken leg accident that left the team very emotional. Ware said "Just go win this game for me. Just go win this game. Don't worry about me, I'm fine." while being attended to by medical staff who was preparing him for a trip to the hospital. Louisville outscored Duke 64 to 43 after the Ware injury and credited Ware's positive attitude about his injury for their win.[22] In Louisville's next game Smith had 21 points in a 72–68 win over Wichita State in the Final Four.[23] Smith averaged 18.7 points, 3.3 rebounds, 2.9 assists and 2.1 steals this season for the Cardinals who won the national championship over Michigan with a 35–5 record.[24]

Senior year

On April 24, 2013, Smith announced he would stay at Louisville for his senior year in an attempt to improve his draft stock the upcoming year.[25] On February 28, he was named one of the 10 semi-finalists for Naismith College Player of the Year.[26]

Louisville finished the season with a 31-6 record, earning a 4 seed in the tournament. Louisville opened against Manhattan in the second round, Smith led the game in scoring with 18 points.[27] After Manhattan, Louisville advanced 66-51 against Saint Louis. Smith tallied up 11 points and tied for the most assists with 7.[28] Smith ended his college career with 23 points in the Sweet Sixteen, losing against Kentucky.[29]

Smith was selected on the Associated Press First Team All American list.[30]

College honors

  • 2013 NCAA Midwest Regional Most Outstanding Player
  • 2013 Big East All-Tournament Team[31]
  • 2013 Big East All-Conference First Team[32]
  • 2013 Lute Olson All-America Team[33]
  • 2013 Sporting News All-American Third Team
  • 2013 NABC All-America Third Team
  • 2013 College Sports Madness All-America First Team[34]
  • 2014 John Wooden Award All-American team[35]

Professional career

New Orleans Pelicans (2014–2015)

On June 26, 2014, Smith was selected with the 47th overall pick in the 2014 NBA draft by the Philadelphia 76ers.[36] The next day, his rights were traded to the New Orleans Pelicans in exchange for the rights to Pierre Jackson.[37] Following the draft, Smith noted his frustration in some draft analysts questioning his efficiency. He was frustrated by teams waffling over his ability to play point guard at the NBA level, and was frustrated that several unnamed big-time NBA draft prospects avoided workouts with him in the two-month build-up to the draft.[38] He later signed his rookie scale contract with the Pelicans on July 15.[39] During his rookie season with the Pelicans, he had multiple assignments with the Fort Wayne Mad Ants of the NBA Development League.[40]

Memphis Grizzlies (2015)

On January 12, 2015, Smith was traded to the Memphis Grizzlies in a three-team deal involving the Pelicans and the Boston Celtics.[41] He was assigned multiple times to the Iowa Energy in his rookie season.[40] Smith made his playoff debut on May 3, 2015, in a 101–86 loss to the Golden State Warriors in the Western Conference semi-finals.[42]

On December 17, 2015, Smith was reassigned to the Iowa Energy,[43] but was recalled later that day.[44] He was reassigned again on December 22,[45] and recalled two days later.[46] On December 29, he was waived by the Grizzlies.[47]

Delaware 87ers (2016)

On January 13, 2016, Smith was acquired by the Delaware 87ers of the NBA Development League.[48] Two days later, he made his debut for the 87ers in a 119–104 win over Raptors 905, scoring a team-high 37 points in 28 minutes of action off the bench.[49] On February 1, 2016, he was named NBA D-League Performer of the Week for games played Monday, January 25 through Sunday, January 31. The honor was the first of Smith's career. He helped Delaware to a 2–1 week, averaging 28.7 points (fifth in the league) on 48 percent shooting (28-for-58) to go with a league-leading 8.7 assists, 4.3 rebounds and 2.0 steals.[50] On March 18, he recorded his first career triple-double after recording 20 points, 13 rebounds and 16 assists in a 116-98 win over the Fort Wayne Mad Ants.[51] On March 23, he set a D-League scoring record with 65 points on 24-of-42 shooting from the field in a 140–129 loss to the Canton Charge.[52][53] On March 29, he was waived by the 87ers after being deemed to have a season-ending injury.[54]

Europe (2016)

On July 27, 2016, Smith signed a one-year contract with Galatasaray Odeabank of the Turkish BSL and EuroLeague.[55] In December 2016, he parted ways with Galatasaray.[56]

Return to the Delaware 87ers (2017)

On January 20, 2017, Smith was re-acquired by the Delaware 87ers.[57]

China (2017–present)

On June 3, 2017, Smith signed with Luoyang Zhonghe of China for the 2017 NBL season.[58] In his debut with Luoyang, Smith scored 62 points (including 7 3-pointers made) and recorded 3 steals in a 138-123 loss to the Anhui Lightning.[59] On July 5, 2017, Smith scored a career-high 81 points to go along with 8 rebounds and 7 assists in a 142-130 win over the Henan Golden Elephants.[60]

After that summer league's campaign wrapped up, he signed with the Fujian Sturgeons for the 2017-18 CBA season.[61][62]

Career Statistics

  GP Games played  MPG  Minutes per game  FG%  Field goal percentage
 3P%  3-point field goal percentage  FT%  Free throw percentage  RPG  Rebounds per game
 APG  Assists per game  SPG  Steals per game  BPG  Blocks per game
 PPG  Points per game  Bold  Career high     Led the league
2014-15 New Orleans / Memphis NBA 12 5.4 .320 .182 .923 .5 .7 .3 .0 2.5
2014-15 Fort Wayne / Iowa NBA D-League 25 30.8 .494 .385 .688 4.3 4.2 1.9 .2 18.1
2015-16 Memphis NBA 15 4.4 .318 .200 .615 .6 .7 .3 .1 1.5
2015-16 Delaware 87ers NBA D-League 22 37.0 .460 .304 .778 5.0 7.9 2.1 .1 27.9
2016-17 Delaware 87ers NBA D-League 25 28.2 .436 .290 .837 3.5 6.2 2.0 .2 17.1
2016-17 Galatasaray S.K. EuroLeague 7 8.9 .356 .167 .682 1.1 .9 .3 .1 8.9
2016-17 Luoyang Zhonghe NBL-China 22 44.8 .495 .357 .856 8.1 5.6 4.1 .2 60.5
2017-18 Fujian Sturgeons CBA 32 33.8 .546 .336 .824 6.9 6.9 1.9 .2 33.6
2018-19 Guizhou White Tigers NBL-China 18 42.8 .436 .315 .860 9.3 4.8 2.8 .2 43.4
Career All Leagues 178 29.9 .476 .329 .816 5.0 5.0 2.0 .2 26.9


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  2. ^ "Russ Smith named Sporting News All-American". March 11, 2013. Archived from the original on October 6, 2014. Retrieved March 11, 2013.CS1 maint: unfit URL (link)
  3. ^ a b Winn, Luke (December 21, 2012). "11 Russdiculous facts about Louisville's Russ Smith". Sports Illustrated. Archived from the original on March 25, 2014. Retrieved April 1, 2013.CS1 maint: unfit URL (link)
  4. ^ a b c "Russ Smith Bio". Louisville Cardinals. Retrieved March 31, 2013.
  5. ^ a b "Peyton Siva's layup helps Louisville tip West Virginia". January 26, 2011. Retrieved April 9, 2013.
  6. ^ "2011–12 Louisville Basketball Media Guide". Player Bio: Peyton Siva. University of Louisville. Retrieved January 29, 2012.
  7. ^ "Demonte Harper's 3-pointer with seconds left lifts Morehead State past Louisville". March 18, 2011. Retrieved April 9, 2013.
  8. ^ "Louisville Cardinals 2011–12 Statistics – Team and Player Stats – Men's College Basketball – ESPN". Retrieved April 9, 2013.
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  10. ^ "Louisville ends game on 23-8 run to stun Florida, reach Final Four". March 24, 2012. Retrieved April 9, 2013.
  11. ^ "Russ Smith Stats, News, Videos, Highlights, Pictures, Bio – Louisville Cardinals – ESPN". Retrieved April 9, 2013.
  12. ^ Waters, Mike (October 16, 2012). "Louisville tops Big East writers' poll; Cardinals dominate all-league teams". Retrieved April 9, 2013.
  13. ^ Smith, Jared (October 17, 2012). "Big East basketball media day: Coaches' poll, All-Big East preseason teams and news". Retrieved April 9, 2013.
  14. ^ Ennis, Mark (March 12, 2013). "2013 Big East Tournament preview: Louisville and Georgetown favorites in league's swan song". Retrieved April 9, 2013.
  15. ^ "Russ Smith leads Louisville over Villanova, into Big East semifinals". March 15, 2013. Retrieved April 9, 2013.
  16. ^ Mike, Waters. "Louisville's Peyton Siva joins Georgetown's Patrick Ewing as the only two-time winners of the Big East Most Outstanding Player award". Syracuse Post-Standard. Retrieved March 17, 2013.
  17. ^ "Louisville rallies from 16 down to win 2nd straight Big East title". March 17, 2013. Retrieved April 9, 2013.
  18. ^ "Louisville claims top overall seed". March 26, 2013. Retrieved April 9, 2013.
  19. ^ "Louisville routs Colorado State behind Russ Smith's 27 points". March 23, 2013. Retrieved April 9, 2013.
  20. ^ Tomlinson, Tommy (March 26, 2013). "Russ Smith could be the key to Louisville's Final Four run. | : Tommy Tomlinson Article". Retrieved April 9, 2013.
  21. ^ "Russ Smith scores 31 points to boost Louisville into Elite 8". March 30, 2013. Retrieved April 9, 2013.
  22. ^ "Emotional Louisville overcomes injury to Kevin Ware to reach Final Four". April 1, 2013. Retrieved April 1, 2013.
  23. ^ "Louisville edges upstart Wichita State, advances to NCAA title game". April 7, 2013. Retrieved April 9, 2013.
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  25. ^ Ain, Morty (November 1, 2013). "The return of Russdiculous". Retrieved November 1, 2013.
  26. ^ "Top 10 National Semifinalists Named for 2014 Men's Naismith Trophy presented by AT&T". Naismith Awards. February 28, 2014. Archived from the original on October 6, 2014. Retrieved February 18, 2014.CS1 maint: unfit URL (link)
  27. ^ "Louisville comes alive late to squeak past Manhattan". March 21, 2014. Retrieved March 21, 2014.
  28. ^ "Louisville tops Saint Louis, reaches Sweet 16 for 3rd straight year". March 22, 2014. Retrieved March 22, 2014.
  29. ^ "Kentucky uses late surge to boot defending champ Louisville". March 29, 2014. Retrieved March 29, 2014.
  30. ^ Lintner, Jonathan (March 31, 2014). "Russ Smith makes two All-America teams". Retrieved March 31, 2014.
  31. ^ "Louisville Wins 2013 BIG EAST Men's Basketball Championship > The BIG EAST Conference > News". March 16, 2013. Archived from the original on May 11, 2013. Retrieved April 9, 2013.CS1 maint: unfit URL (link)
  32. ^ "Big East Men's Basketball 2012–2013 All-Conference Teams". College Sports Madness. Retrieved April 9, 2013.
  33. ^ "Men's Basketball's Smith Named to Lute Olson All-America Team – Louisville Cardinals Official Athletic Site". March 25, 2013. Archived from the original on April 11, 2013. Retrieved April 9, 2013.
  34. ^ "Men's Basketball's Smith Earns NABC All-America Honors". March 28, 2013. Archived from the original on December 15, 2013. Retrieved April 9, 2013.
  35. ^ Medcalf, Myron (May 31, 2014). "Wooden All-American team revealed". Retrieved May 31, 2014.
  36. ^ Polacek, Scott (June 26, 2014). "Russ Smith Drafted by 76ers: Latest News, Reaction and Analysis". Retrieved June 26, 2014.
  37. ^ "Sixers Acquire Rights To Point Guard Pierre Jackson". June 27, 2014. Retrieved June 28, 2014.
  38. ^ Greer, Jeff (January 7, 2015). "Russ Smith frustrated by NBA draft, ready to start". Retrieved February 8, 2016.
  39. ^ "Pelicans Sign Russ Smith". July 15, 2014. Retrieved July 15, 2014.
  40. ^ a b "All-Time NBA Assignments". Retrieved December 17, 2015.
  41. ^ "Memphis Grizzlies acquire Jeff Green and Russ Smith in three-team trade with Boston Celtics and New Orleans Pelicans". January 12, 2015. Retrieved January 12, 2015.
  42. ^ "Warriors roll past Grizzlies 101-86 in Game 1 of West semis". May 3, 2015. Retrieved May 3, 2015.
  43. ^ "Grizzlies assign James Ennis, Jarrell Martin and Russ Smith to Iowa Energy". December 17, 2015. Retrieved December 17, 2015.
  44. ^ "Memphis Grizzlies Recall James Ennis, Jarell Martin and Russ Smith from Iowa Energy". December 17, 2015. Retrieved December 17, 2015.
  45. ^ "Grizzlies re-assign James Ennis, Jarell Martin and Russ Smith to Iowa Energy". December 22, 2015. Retrieved December 22, 2015.
  46. ^ "Memphis Grizzlies Recall James Ennis, Jarell Martin and Russ Smith from the Iowa Energy". December 24, 2015. Retrieved December 24, 2015.
  47. ^ "Memphis Grizzlies sign center Ryan Hollins". December 29, 2015. Retrieved December 29, 2015.
  48. ^ "Delaware 87ers acquire Russ Smith". January 13, 2016. Archived from the original on January 18, 2016. Retrieved January 13, 2016.
  49. ^ "87ers Run Past Raptors". January 15, 2016. Retrieved January 16, 2016.
  50. ^ "87ers Guard Russ Smith Named NBA Development League Performer of the Week". February 1, 2016. Retrieved February 8, 2016.
  51. ^ "Fort Wayne Mad Ants 98 - Delaware 87ers 116". G-League Stats. March 18, 2016. Retrieved April 15, 2020.
  52. ^ "Russdiculous! Top Prospect Russ Smith Pours in Record 65 Points for Delaware 87ers". March 23, 2016. Retrieved March 24, 2016.
  53. ^ "Russ Smith Goes Off for NBA D-League Record 65 Points!". March 23, 2016. Retrieved March 25, 2016.
  54. ^ "NBA D-League Transactions". Archived from the original on April 1, 2016. Retrieved March 31, 2016.CS1 maint: unfit URL (link)
  55. ^ "Galatasaray signs Russ Smith". July 27, 2016. Retrieved July 27, 2016.
  56. ^ "Galatasaray parted ways with Russ Smith". December 17, 2016. Retrieved January 10, 2017.
  57. ^ The #Sevens have reacquired G Russ Smith - #Sixers 2014 Draft pick set a team and league single-game scoring record with 65 pts on 3/23/16
  58. ^ "Russ Smith signs in China with Luoyang where he averaged 60 points per game which is a world record". June 3, 2017. Retrieved July 5, 2017.
  59. ^ "Anhui 138 - Luoyang 123". EuroBasket. June 25, 2017. Retrieved April 15, 2020.
  60. ^ "Luoyang 142 - Henan 130". EuroBasket. July 5, 2017. Retrieved April 15, 2020.
  61. ^ "Fujian Sturgeons sign Andrew Nicholson and Russ Smith". Sportando. Retrieved August 13, 2018.[permanent dead link]
  62. ^ "Russ Smith on possible NBA comeback, ascent at Louisville, reaction to vacated title, 61.2 PPG average in China and more". 26 March 2018.

External links

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