Men's Basketball Smith USBWA District Player of the Year
March 12, 2014INDIANA SPORTS PAGE
LOUISVILLE BASKETBALL RELEASE
LOUISVILLE, Ky. - University of Louisville's Russ Smith is the U.S. Basketball Writers Association's District IV Player of the Year, the organization announced on Tuesday. Along with Smith, teammate Montrezl Harrellhas been selected to the all-district team.
The 2013-14 men's all-district teams are based on voting from the USBWA's national membership of more than 900. Of the nine geographic districts, Smith - also an all-district selection in 2013 - achieved the honor from a contingent of states that consists of Kentucky, Tennessee, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, and Florida.
Since the conclusion of the regular season, Smith has collected four major honors - first team All-America by The Sporting News, NBC Sports, and The Bleacher Report - while being named one of 15 student-athletes to the prestigious John R. Wooden Award ballot. The Sporting News All-America selection is one of the four honors that factor into being a consensus All-American (others are Associated Press, NABC, and USBWA).
The Brooklyn, N.Y., native is averaging 17.5 points on a career-best 46.8 percent shooting, including a 39.4 percent stint from beyond the arc, and 4.8 assists. He is just the fourth Louisville player in history with at least 1,700 points, 300 assists, and 200 steals. His 1,779 career points ranks No. 8 all-time in school history, and he is 27 shy of Labradford Smith for seventh (1,806 points, 1987-91). With 63 steals this season, moving his career total to 246, Smith is eight shy of tying former teammate Peyton Siva(254 steals) for the school record.
Harrell is having a remarkable season as well. The sophomore has improved his scoring by nine points per game from a season ago to 14.0, while more than doubling his rebounding from 3.6 boards to 8.3. Harrell has posted nine double-doubles this season, eight in his last 16 games, and has scored in double digits 24 times this season. He has become well-known for his dunks in which he has totaled a single season school-record 84 on the year. The Tarboro, N.C., native ranks first in The American (.612) and second in conference-only (.595) statistics in shooting percentage.
Louisville, which captured a share of the AAC regular-season title, earned the No. 2 seed in the American Athletic Conference Tournament. The Cardinals face the winner of USF-Rutgers on Thursday, March 13. Tip is set for 3 p.m. in the FedEx Forum in Memphis, Tenn.