If Louisville wins the national championship game on Monday night, why would Russ Smith return?
Smith, who is 21 years old, is averaging 25.0 points per game thus far in the Big Dance, an incredible mark through five NCAA Tournament contests. With that production has come a spike in Smith’s NBA Draft stock. In fact,DraftExpress.com currently lists Smith as the the 34th selection in their 2013 mock, one of the highest predictions that has been seen for Smith.
However on the other hand, why would Smith jump the gun when he has eligibility and a stock that can be considered on the rise to begin with?
Louisville won’t be as talented next year as they are right now, but they could still compete for a national title in 2014 if Smith returns. And one more season in Louisville could do wonders for Smith…and his draft stock.
If Smith plays like he has been in this NCAA Tournament, then watch. There is no doubt that if Smith returns, that he will be mentioned within the National Player of the Year discussion. His numbers and importance to the Cardinals at that point would just be too crucial not to include him.
With that being said, Smith and the Cardinals are focused on winning a national championship on Monday and the ultimate result could play a big decision in the guard’s thinking.
Smith could be the biggest driving force in the Cardinals’ success next season with all the hype in the world if he makes the decision to return. Sure, Smith’s draft stock is on the up and up right now, but there’s no doubt that there is room for improvement and potential that one more season in Louisville could help fulfill.
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