Rocky start didn’t ruffle Russ Smith

Russ Smith briefly considered transferring following an injury-plagued freshman season, a move that wouldn’t have surprised many University of Louisville basketball fans.

Smith didn’t make much of an impression that first season, scoring 38 points in 17 game with 14 turnovers and 13 assists. He played hurt much of the time, as did many of his teammates during 2010-11. 

After Louisville’s season opening win over Manhattan, Smith revealed that he thought about following Steve Masiello when he took the New York coaching post, according to George Graves of the Associated Press:

Smith had considered transferring to Manhattan to follow Masiello. The coach thought it was a done deal. “He was coming to Manhattan,” he said. “I thought we had him.”

“I know everybody at Manhattan,” Smith said. “I know Mass (Masiello). My dad knows him well. But I really never even considered it.

“To be serious, we had talks. But I know the coach and the staff. I didn’t want to (go), I didn’t want to leave. I’ve never left anywhere since high school. Keeping some stability and staying was best for my career.”

And best for Louisville basketball.

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Author: Charlie Springer

Charlie Springer is a former Louisville editor and sportswriter, as well as a public affairs consultant, a UofL grad and longtime fan.