Russ Smith returning to Louisville for senior season

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Louisville guard Russ Smith will wait another year before making his transition to professional basketball.

Louisville Cardinals guard Russ Smith will return to the school for his senior season, Jeff Goodman of CBS Sports reports. A formal announcement is expected Wednesday afternoon.

Smith, a 6-foot guard with legitimate scoring chops, returns to a stacked Louisville team that could compete for its second straight national championship. With Chase Behanan, Luke Hancock and Wayne Blackshear also coming back to Rick Pitino's team next year, Louisville could be a force in college basketball once again.

As a junior, Smith averaged 18.7 points, 3.3 rebounds and 2.7 assists per game as the Cardinals' leading scorer. He shot 41 percent from the field and 32 percent from beyond the arc.

Most evaluators had Smith pegged as nothing more than a possible second-round pick. ESPN's Chad Ford rated him No. 57 on his Top 100 prospects for the draft, while Draft Express had him ranked a bit higher at No. 33. Goodman notes that another strong year could potentially move him up some draft boards in 2014.

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