Russell heading to NBA Draft after one season at Ohio State
One season was enough at Ohio State for D’Angelo Russell, who told ESPN.com Wednesday that he’s leaving school and entering the NBA Draft.
On Thursday, he formally announced the news at the Buckeyes’ Value City Arena.
Russell averaged 19.7 points, 5.7 rebounds and 5.0 assists per game as a freshman for the Buckeyes, joining Danny Ainge and Kenny Anderson as the only freshmen to average more than 19 points, five rebounds and five assists at the Division I level.
The 6-foot-5 Russell is a native of Louisville, Ky. He was a consensus All-American and the winner of the inaugural Jerry West Award given to the nation’s top shooting guard. His freshman season was highlighted by a February triple-double at Rutgers, a 28-point performance in an NCAA tournament win over VCU and seven games in which he scored 27 or more points.
"This was a hard decision because I knew I could come back and play with my teammates who I love, and to be coached by coach Thad Matta again would have been awesome, but at the same time I wanted to pursue my dream of playing in the NBA," Russell told ESPN.com."I know what I am capable of and the sky’s the limit with effort. I know I have a lot to work on."
Maybe because defenses knew of his talents and adjusted accordingly, Russell’s production was not as consistent over the season’s final month but his NBA declaration is no surprise. Rich Paul, the agent for LeBron James and other NBA players, is one of many agents who traveled to Columbus for an up-close look at Russell over the second half of Ohio State’s season.
DraftExpress.com ranks Russell at No. 4 on its top 100 list of prospects eligible for June’s NBA Draft.