Official Press Release from UofL:
LOUISVILLE, Ky. – On the same day Russ Smith earned attention for his on-the-court accomplishments, the University of Louisville men’s basketball senior is receiving recognition for his abilities off the court. Smith is one of 10 finalists for the Senior CLASS Award, it was announced Thursday.
An acronym for Celebrating Loyalty and Achievement for Staying in School, the Senior CLASS Award focuses on the total student-athlete and encourages students to use their platform in athletics to make a positive impact as leaders in their communities.
To be eligible for the award, a student-athlete must be classified as an NCAA Division I senior and have notable achievements in four areas of excellence – community, classroom, character and competition.
|Smith’s CLASS Profile | Senior CLASS Award Website|
Smith is one of five players on the list who plays for a team in the top 15 in the latest Associated Press poll.
In January, Smith was one of 14 Louisville men’s basketball players who achieved at least a 3.0 grade-point average for the fall semester. At the end of the 2013 season, Smith garnered the BIG EAST Conference Scholar-Athlete Sports Excellence Award for men’s basketball. He received the 2013 Academic Momentum Award, as presented by the National Consortium for Academics and Sports, and was selected to the Scholar Baller program, an honor which is based on the level of academic improvement.
One of the team’s captains, Smith is leading the Cardinals in scoring (18.3), while posting team highs in 3-pointers made (50), assists (108), and steals (41). He has scored in double figures in each game this season, including a career-best 36 against North Carolina in late September.
In conference play, Smith is scoring 20.1 points per game, second best in the AAC, while shooting 53.1 percent from 3-point range to rank No. 2 in the league. He is registering two steals per game, the third-best mark in the conference, while dishing out the fifth-most assists at 4.4 per contest.
The Brooklyn, N.Y., native was named a preseason AP All-America, the school’s first since Pervis Ellison in 1986. Smith also is on the Wooden Award’s Midseason Watch List.
The finalists were chosen by national media from the list of 30 men’s candidates and 30 women’s candidates announced in October.
Nationwide fan voting begins immediately to help select the winner. Fans are encouraged to vote on the Senior CLASS Award websitethrough March 24. Fan votes will be combined with media and Division I head coaches’ votes to determine the winners. The Senior CLASS Award winners will be announced during the 2014 NCAA Men’s Final Four® and NCAA Women’s Final Four®.