Russ Smith scored 24 points last night giving him 1731 for his career, this moves him past Cardinal greats Herbert Crook and Charlie Tyra and puts him at 8th all time in career scoring at Louisville. But I don’t think this is where Russ finishes among top scorers. So it brings me to question, where does Russ end up on this list when it’s all said and done?
In order to move up some more Russ ironically has to pass a couple of other Smiths in LaBradford and Derek who sit at 7th and 6th all time. Russ needs 75 more points to catch LaBradford and 20 more from there to catch Derek. Louisville has for sure five games left, with three regular season games, a conference tournament game, and a NCAA tournament game. We should play in quite a few more, but lets look at the numbers needed in just five games. Russ would need to average 15 points a game to catch LaBradford and 19 a game to catch Derek. But, why stop there? Ten points from Derek’s total is Milt Wagner in 5th place with 1836 points all time. To reach this total in five games, Russ would have to average 21 points a game. It may be difficult to score 21 points a game with how well the rest of the team is scoring and how well Russ has shared the ball this year, but lets consider that we should be playing more than five games; which would significantly reduce the amount he needs to average.
For fun, we’re going to say Louisville gets the bye in the AAC tournament, advances to the championship, and also advances to the championship of the NCAA tournament. That would add seven games to Russ’ season, giving Russ 12 games to work with. Milt Wagner’s total of 1836 would be met with a very attainable average of 8.75 points a game. If Russ maintained his season average over a 12 game stretch, he would end up 5th all time, just two points shy of Reece Gaines’ who has 1945 career points.
So where will Russ end up? I believe 5th all time is very much in play for Russ, and if Louisville can take us on the magical journey they took us on last year, Reece’s 4th spot could be up for grabs. Wherever Russ ends up, I believe his jersey should be hanging in the Yum! Center one day, as he will go down as one of Louisville’s greatest players all time. Now get out there and play 12 more games Russ!