Russell named Big Ten Freshman of the Year

Ohio State Buckeyes guard D'Angelo Russell listens to head coach Thad Matta. Russell became the fourth Buckeye Big Ten freshman of the year since Matta took over as coach.

Ohio State guard D’Angelo Russell was named the Big Ten Freshman of the Year and was a unanimous all-league selection when the Big Ten season-ending awards were announced Monday evening.

Russell becomes Ohio State’s first Big Ten Freshman of the Year since Jared Sullinger in 2011 but the fourth in Thad Matta’s 11 years as Ohio State’s coach. Greg Oden (2007) and William Buford (2009) were the others.

"It’s an honor and it’s great to be among a list of talented players who have earned these awards in the past," Russell said. "These are individual awards but I just want to help our team get wins. I give a lot of credit to the coaches who put me in a position to be the best I can be. Coach Matta does a great job of recruiting and looking ahead to see these things happen before players even get here. I give a lot of credit to him and I thank him for giving me the opportunity to be a part of this team."

The leading freshman scorer in the country and second-leading scorer in the Big Ten at 19.2 points per game, Russell also leads the Buckeyes at 5.6 rebounds per game and is second on the team at 5.2 assists. 

"D’Angelo is so multidimensional from scoring to passing to rebounding," Matta said. "I’m infatuated with the kid and I love what he brings to our team. He does so many things to make each individual on the court better. That ability ultimately makes our team better." 

Russell is from Louisville, Ky. He played his last three years of high school at Montverde Academy in Florida. 

Wisconsin senior 7-footer Frank Kaminsky was named the Big Ten Player of the Year. 

Ohio State seniors Sam Thompson and Shannon Scott were named honorable mention All-Big Ten, and Ohio State’s Jae’sean Tate joined Russell on the All-Big Ten Freshman team. No Ohio State players were named to the league’s all-defensive team.