Russ Smith says his body 'in shambles'

Russ Smith

ORLANDO, Fla. - As the University of Louisville basketball team prepares for Saint Louis in the NCAA Tournament on Saturday, standout senior Russ Smith is battling nagging injuries. Smith will play but said he "is trying to get some rest."

University of Louisville senior All-American Russ Smith came down the floor late in Thursday's NCAA Tournament win over Manhattan with one major grimace of pain on his face.

Smith wasn't sure what part of his body was hurting at the time, but it didn't matter.

With a bunch of nagging injuries, Smith hit a game-tying three-pointer and had two assists in the final 3:23 to help the Cardinals rally past Manhattan 71-64 at the Amway Center.

"My body is in shambles," Smith said. "My thumb is OK. It will be fine, it's just bruised.

"I have a bruised knee and thigh, twisted ankle and the bruised thumb plus I got hit in the head a little bit. But it's all part of the game."

Smith said he never fretted the Cardinals were going to lose the game, but because his body was aching he "thought the game would never end."

While he's "happy" to be setting all kinds of records at U of L, Smith said he wasn't worried about anything but winning right now.

With his 18 points against Manhattan, Smith is now second among all U of L players in history for NCAA Tournament scoring with 214 career points in tourney games, just 10 behind the all-time leader - Milt Wagner (224).

Smith is the new career steals leader in U of L history - 256 - and ranks fifth in career scoring with 1,874 and is just 71 points behind Reece Gaines for fourth-place. He's also just 12 behind LaBradford Smith for career made free throws with 479.

"The past few weeks have just been so exciting for me," Smith said. "I'm having fun and I want us to keep winning.

"Everybody wishes they cold play healthy, so that's just part of the game."

Smith said his preparation the rest of Friday and into Saturday morning will be the key for Saturday's 2:45 p.m. matchup against St Louis.

"Treatment,look at film and get some rest," Smith said. "I am really tired and exhausted right now. Russ tries to get as much sleep as possible, but Russ can't find enough time."

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