The Louisville men's basketball coaching staff was trying to scout J.J. Moore, an eventual Pitt commit, in 2009 when they stumbled upon a 6-foot, 160-pound scoring guard. His name was Russ Smith, he was a three-star prospect, and he’d go on to become one of the most exciting players in U of L history, wowing fans from 2010 to 2014.
Today, at halftime of Louisville’s 4 p.m. game against Notre Dame, Smith’s jersey number will be retired.
Here’s a look at Smith, by the numbers:
7 games started during first 2 years at Louisville
Number of games started by Smith during his first two years at Louisville. He played sparingly as a freshman, was a significant bench contributor as a sophomore — 11.5 points per game — and then exploded as a junior and senior, averaging better than 18 points per game and becoming one of the top players across college basketball.
9 minutes played in 2011 game vs. West Virginia
Minutes played by Smith in a Jan. 26, 2011 game against West Virginia. Smith, then a freshman, has said that he was frustrated by injuries and lack of playing time and was prepared to transfer following that game, but he sparked a comeback in that game, U of L won, and Smith decided to stay.
Steals tallied by Smith during his career, a Louisville record. He averaged better than 2 steals per game during each of his final three seasons.
488 free throws
Free throws made during his career, second in school history. He posted a 76.0% clip at U of L.
1,908 career points
Career points scored, the fifth-best mark ever by a Cardinal.
Russ Smith bourbon: Louisville basketball legend diving into another local passion: Kentucky bourbon
47 NBA selection
Smith was selected No. 47 overall in the 2014 NBA Draft following a season as a consensus All-American. He played 27 career NBA games and has since played overseas and in the NBA’s G-League (formerly called the D-League).
65 points in NBA D-League in 2016
Points scored by Russ Smith in an NBA D-League game in 2016, setting a record. He went 24-of-42 from the field, passing the record of 61 points that had been set by Jordan McRae just two months before; to this day Smith’s record still stands.
5 numbers retired by U of L men's basketball
Numbers retired by Louisville men’s basketball. Charlie Tyra (8), Wes Unseld (31), Darrell Griffith (35) and Pervis Ellison (41) are the others.
2 - his jersey number
Smith’s jersey number. Quentin Snider, Darius Perry, and, this season, walk-on forward Sam Bearden have worn No. 2 in the years after Smith, but beginning next year, no Cardinal will.
This article originally appeared on Louisville Courier Journal: Louisville men's basketball to retire No. 2: Russ Smith by the numbers