Louisville Cardinals NCAA Basketball Celebration

Russ Smith escorts high school freshman for her homecoming court

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Stories like this make you smile.

Russ Smith was attending a high school basketball game because he’s good friends with Dean Baumert — a former student manager at Louisville — who is now an assistant coach with Eastern High School. It just so happened that the high school game was part of a double-header, so Smith was there to catch some freshmen girls high school basketball action, as well.

Manual High School’s — Eastern’s opponent — Tonysha Curry, got stood up by her homecoming date. So, what did Curry do? She mustered up enough courage to ask Smith to step in for her date.

“I was like, ‘I don’t know if I can do it. I’m scared,’” Curry told Jason Frakes of Courier-Journal.com. “I just walked over there and said, ‘Excuse me, can you please escort me for homecoming court.’ He was like, ‘Can I do it? Really? Really?’”

One can only imagine Smith’s reaction when approached by the high school freshman — it made his day.

“It actually made my day more than hers,” Smith said. “It was really nice of her to ask me, so I got up and did it for her. … That never happens. It’s one-in-a-million.”

Utah lands top-75 center Jayce Johnson

Larry Krystkowiak
AP Photo
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Utah picked up its center of the future on Monday as four-star center Jayce Johnson pledged to the Runnin’ Utes, a source confirmed to NBCSports.com. The 7-foot Johnson recently cut his list to Cal, Colorado and Utah with the possibility of reclassifying to the Class of 2015.

Regarded as the No. 67 overall prospect in the Class of 2016, Johnson will look to attend Utah in December as a walk-on who will redshirt. While Johnson likely won’t play this season, he does give head coach Larry Krystkowiak another big man to use in practice to go against sophomore center Jakob Poeltl. A solid long-term prospect, Johnson has a good frame to add weight and he’s also skilled finishing with both hands. Utah now has its replacement for Poeltl if he opts to leave for the NBA after the season and he gets an extra semester to work with the program.

Johnson is coming off of his official visit to Utah this weekend as he joins junior college guard Jojo Zamora in the Class of 2016.


PHOTO: South Carolina gets new uniforms

Frank Martin
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South Carolina debuted some new uniforms early this week as the school is going with a fresh look and three color ways.

They’re also going to with the “Carolina” branding this season, but I think these new uniforms look pretty cool.