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Russ Smith staying at Louisville

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Updated: 4/24/2013 1:27 pm

Louisville, KY (Sports Network) - Louisville guard Russ Smith will return for his senior season.

Smith made the announcement Wednesday at a news conference with Cardinals head coach Rick Pitino at his side.

"It's really nice I have that (decision) off my back and I'll be ready for next year," said Smith on Wednesday. "If I would have left, I would have been shooting myself in the foot."

Smith led the NCAA Tournament champions with an average of 18.7 points in 40 games. He also grabbed 3.3 rebounds and dished out 2.9 assists while shooting 32.8 percent from beyond the arc.

"I love to win, and with the group we have coming back, I want to go out a winner and I want to get my degree," Smith added. "The pros of staying were so much better than the pros of leaving. All the pros I put down of leaving were very immature. This season, I have some new goals and some new challenges."

Smith scored only nine points and made just 3-of-16 shots in the national championship game against Michigan, as Louisville won its third title and first since 1986.

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