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#pounditSunday, April 21, 2024

Rick Pitino: Russ Smith doesn’t understand scouting by other teams

Russ Smith Rick PitinoLouisville head coach Rick Pitino says there is one more thing star point guard Russ Smith needs to work on to improve his game.

Smith shot 3-for-10 and committed 7 turnovers in Louisville’s win over Saint Louis in the second round of the NCAA Tournament on Saturday.

Quick Rick, talking about Smith’s shaky game, says the point guard needs to learn how other teams are going to play him and respond accordingly.

“Russ Smith has grown so much as a basketball player, but he still has one thing left, and I tried to explain this to him at halftime, but he has a very difficult time, he’s a distracted young man, understanding this. I said, Russ, there’s a lot better coaches than me in the other locker room, but picture if I was in the other locker room. Do you think I would even let you breathe any time down the court? Do you think I would let you breathe? He says, no, Coach, you would double me, you would trap me. I said, so don’t you think the other coaches are doing the same thing?” Pitino said after the game via the Louisville Courier-Journal.

“All the great ones from Michael Jordan to Kobe, they don’t try to score 20 points in the first quarter. They get everybody else the ball and they let the game come to me and the other team fatigues and things open up. So his last lesson is to play like he did in the second half and not come out. He doesn’t understand the scouting of the other teams. He’s all Michael, all Kobe. But he doesn’t get that those guys in the other locker room are a lot smarter than me. He doesn’t get it. So we’re going to give him shock treatment on Monday.”

Think Pitino is frustrated with Smith? Sure seems like it.

Russdiculous has shot 46.9 percent from the field this season, which is his career-high. His assists-to-turnovers ratio is also the highest of his career. If he could just get this last thing down, he’d be all set.

H/T College Spun


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