Is Louisville’s Russ Smith a Better Guard Than Missouri’s Phil Pressey?

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

The Louisville Cardinals and the Missouri Tigers started off as two of the hottest teams in the country, mostly due to the outstanding play by their guards, Russ Smith and Phil Pressey, respectively. Both teams are headed to the NCAA tournament and both Guards will be in the discussion for All-American honors, but which guard is better?

Smith is a better decision maker than Pressey. Smith knows when to pass and when to shoot and distributes extremely well. Pressey tends to take way too many shots, where Smith takes smarter, higher percentage shots. Smith also seems to pull his team together, whereas Pressey can at times steal confidence from his team. Smith is better in the mental aspects of the game.

Pressey is a better passer and better clutch player. He is probably the best passer of the ball in the entire country. However, unlike Smith, Pressey is the most important member of his entire team. Smith is essential to Louisville, but, if he has an off night, other player can step up and the Cardinals still win. If Pressey has an off night, Missouri still might not win. Pressey has to carry his team, where Smith gets to play his game.

So, essentially these two players are incomparable. Smith is a great player, but Pressey is too important to his team. These two players are different essential parts of their respective team’s game plan and hopefully they end up matched together somewhere later in the NCAA tournament – so they can prove which player is better, one-on-one.

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