When he was carrying Louisville to a national championship in 2013, Russ Smith earned the nickname “Russdiculous” from his head coach, Rick Pitino. It’s not time to retire that moniker quite yet.
Last night, Smith, who has spent most of the season playing for the Delaware 87ers of the NBA D-League, dropped 65 points on the Canton Charge, breaking the record for most points scored in a D-League game (61), set by Jordan McRae earlier this season. McRae is now a member of the Cleveland Cavaliers.
Smith repeatedly took the ball to the hole for layups, both contested and wide-open, on his way to shooting 24 of 42 from the field and adding 16 free throws. Though the 87ers somehow lost the game 140-129, Smith was sensational, and his performance is sure to draw attention from NBA teams out of the playoff race who are looking to find a diamond in the rough. Smith also had a 50-point game earlier this month.
After leaving Louisville and being drafted by the Philadelphia 76ers in 2014, Smith appeared in just 27 NBA games over the past three seasons, in brief stints with the New Orleans Pelicans and Memphis Grizzlies.