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Russ Smith Named To Oscar Robertson Trophy Watch List

Nate Shron

Release from U of L:

A day after earning preseason All-America honors, Louisville's Russ Smith is receiving attention for an award presented to the nation's top Division I men's basketball player.

The Brooklyn, N.Y., native was named as one of 15 members to the Oscar Robertson Trophy Watch List, the U.S. Basketball Writers Association announced on Tuesday afternoon. The senior is one of three players on this year's list who finished as a finalist for the 2012-13 honor.

The award will be presented to the national player of the year at the Devon Energy College Basketball Awards on April 14, 2014, the Monday following the NCAA Men's Final Four, at the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum in Oklahoma City.

On Monday, Smith became the second player in Louisville's history, first since Pervis Ellison in 1986, to receive preseason All-America honors from the Associated Press.

In addition to being named American Athletic Conference Preseason Player of the Year, Smith has been tabbed as a preseason All-American by Blue Ribbon College Basketball Yearbook, which named him a first-team member, and earned preseason All-America status.

Smith concluded his junior campaign as the 2013 Ken Pomeroy National Player of the Year, averaging 18.7 points and 2.1 steals. Smith also picked up other awards during the year for his on-the-court performance: all-BIG EAST first team, all-BIG EAST Tournament Team, and Midwest Regional Most Outstanding Player.

Last week, the co-captain Smith was named one of 30 candidates for the men's basketball 2013-14 Senior CLASS Award, which is only eligible for student-athletes who are classified as an NCAA Division I senior and have notable achievements in four areas of excellence - community, classroom, character and competition.