Seniors Luke Hancock and Russ Smith have been named captains for the 2013-14 University of Louisville men's basketball team, head coach Rick Pitino announced Monday.
During the press conference, Pitino introduced new assistant coach Mike Balado to the media. Prior to his year at FIU under Richard Pitino, Balado worked three seasons at High Point University (2009-12), where he assisted in all areas of the Panther basketball program with a heavy concentration on recruiting. He spent the 2008-09 season on the University of Miami (Fla.) basketball staff where he helped the Hurricanes compile a 19-13 record and a berth in the National Invitation Tournament (NIT) while working on player development, scouting and game preparation.
Hancock, who also served as a captain over the past season, averaged 8.1 points and hit a team-high 63-of-158 three-point goals (.399) as a junior last season. He was named the Most Outstanding Player of the 2013 NCAA Final Four, the first non-starter to earn that honor in the event's 75-year history. He averaged 21 points in the two games, burying 8-of-10 three-point goals. He averaged 11.3 points in nine post-season games.
A third-team All-America selection by the AP, NABC and The Sporting News, Smith led the Cardinals in scoring last season, averaging 18.7 points (second in the BIG EAST, 35th nationally) and 2.1 steals (26th in the nation). He was the Most Outstanding Player of the 2013 Midwest Regional and averaged 22.3 points and 2.5 steals in the Cardinals' six NCAA Tournament games, scoring over 20 in five of the six. Smith was selected as the Ken Pomeroy National Player of the Year.
Louisville won the 2013 NCAA Championship while winning a school-record 35 games (35-5 mark), ending the season on a 16-game win streak. It was the Cardinals' third NCAA title (also 1980 and 1986) and 10th Final Four.