Russell's big game for OSU puts him among elite company
Ohio State super freshman D'Angelo Russell is having an outstanding season, and in Sunday's 79-60 win at Rutgers he recorded a rare triple-double with 23 points, 11 assists and 11 rebounds.
It's just the fourth triple-double in Ohio State history, the first in a Big Ten game and the first by a freshman. The 6-foot-5 Russell posted the first triple-double by a Buckeyes player since Evan Turner had 16 points, 10 rebounds and 11 assists in Nov. 2009 against Lipscomb. Turner had two triple-doubles that month; Dennis Hopson had the first triple-double by an Ohio State player in 1986 vs. Akron.
Russell — who was born in 1996 — leads the Buckeyes at 19.5 points and 5.9 rebounds per game on the season, and he ranks second in assists at 5.4 per game.
Sunday's game marked Russell's second with double-digit assists and third with double-digit rebounds. He scored over 20 points for the 11th time this season and has scored in double figures in 23 of 24 games.
By comparison, Turner finished his junior season in 2009-10 averaging 20.4 points, 9.2 rebounds and 6.0 assists; Russell's season also compares favorably to the one Jared Sullinger posted in 2010-11 when Sullinger averaged 17.2 points and 10.2 rebounds for a team that spent much of the season ranked No. 1.
Russell could join Turner and Sullinger and become Ohio State's 10th consensus All-American selection. The Buckeyes haven't had a Big Ten Player of the Year since Turner won the award in 2010.
Ohio State freshmen combined for 61 of the team's 79 points Sunday at Rutgers, with Jae'sean Tate scoring 20 and Keita Bates-Diop scoring a career-high 14.
Ohio State is 18-6, 7-4 in the Big Ten and returns to action Wednesday at home vs. Penn State.