I was reading about some of the younger CARD fans and their lack of ability to relate to the older teams, when a thought struck me. How does Russ stack up against the best SMITH's that ever played for U of L? So, off I went to the media guide to drum up some stats. It turns out he may very well leave U of L as the best all around player named Smith. Jerry was so far behind the others that I only looked at the top 2 Smiths.
Derek Smith 1826 career points 3 out of 4 years he led the team with FG % .632, .573, & .590 Career FTs 382 FT att 570 2 Final Fours, 1 National Championship
LaBradford Smith 1806 career points 4 time FT % leader between .82 and .90 Consecutive FT made 36 Career FT 491 Ft att 567 Career FT % 86.6 Assists season 226 Asst career 713 Steals career 227
Russ Smith 1235 Career points Made FT Season 222 FT att season 276 Career FT made 335 Fts attempted 425 Career steals 183 2 Final fours, 1 National Championship (so far)
Based on these stats, Russ needs to average 15 points per game, if we play 40 games again, to catch Derek. I can easily see him passing both Derek and LaBradford in FTs made and attempted. He only needs to make 170 to pass both of them, and he made 222 last season. With the new rules, he may attempt 400, and with his % make 310 or so. He needs 44 steals to pass LaBradford and is averaging 85 the past 2 years. He stands no chance of catching either of the others in rebounding totals, as he is 160 behind L and 600 behind D.
In closing, it looks like if Russ stays healthy, he can pass all other Smiths that played for the Cards, in total points, attempted and made FTs, and steals, lacking only rebounding to completely dominate the opposition. Even if this year's team does not reach a Final 4, Russ has matched Derek there already. I must say this was a surprise to me, as I thought Derek Smith was out of reach. I will wear my Air Russ T-shirt with more pride now. Both Derek and LaBradford came to the school more highly rated, but Russ has excelled far beyond any of our expectations, and that includes a Hall of Fame coach, who has had to adapt his style of relating personally to the man he affectionately calls Russdiculous.