Today is the 22nd birthday of one of Louisville's most interesting and hilarious citizens, but once the celebrating is over this weekend, he's going to have a pretty serious decision to make.
You haven't heard about Russ Smith participating in any of the paid autograph signings with former teammates Peyton Siva and Gorgui Dieng, because Russ isn't quite sure whether or not he's ready to become a professional. It's a decision that the NBA says he must make before April 28, and one which he says he'll make at some point next week.
"I haven't made my decision yet. I plan on making it next week with coach," Smith told The Courier-Journal. "I'm 50/50 nothing has changed. I haven't made my full decision just yet."
It's an interesting conundrum.
Smith's draft stock isn't exactly sky-high right now, and another year in college probably isn't going to do much to change that. He can leave now and probably hear his name called on draft night, and then be making money playing basketball somewhere a few months after that.
On the other hand, Smith would be treated like a conquering hero if he returned to Louisville for his senior season. He would likely begin 2013-14 as a first team preseason All-American (holy sh-t) and would be one of the most talked-about players in the country for the entire season. There's also the slim chance that proving he can do what he did this past season again could improve his draft stock.
It's a difficult choice, but I hope Russ knows Louisville fans are behind him regardless. He's certainly earned that much.