Louisville junior guard Russ Smith will ride the momentum of a memorable 2013 NCAA Tournament into the NBA.
Smith, a 6-1, 165-pound score-first guard with quickness that coach Rick Pitino said would make Smith "hell to guard" in the NBA, averaged 23.3 points in six tournament games.
Smith told SiriusXM Radio on Tuesday that he was leaving Louisville for the NBA.
Amidst the championship game celebration Monday in Atlanta, Russ Smith Sr. told SI.com on Monday night that his son Russ Jr. was going pro.
"I told him, 'Man, this is how you go out,'" Smith Sr. said. "All the people who doubted you since high school, you proved them wrong. You have back-to-back (Big East) championships, then you come back and win the national championship. All that hard work comes from working you out since you was three years old, running the beach, running the stairs, running with medicine balls, a boxing bag, it paid off."
Smith Jr., a junior, led Louisville in scoring this season at 18.9 points per game.
"When you go out, you want to go out with a national championship," Smith Sr. said. "He's got five rings: back-to-back Big East, back-to-back Final Four, national championship. What other way to go out?"
Asked if Smith Jr. was "gone," Smith Sr. replied: "He's gone."