We kick off our NBA Draft Prospect Profile series with Ohio State freshman D’Angelo Russell. Stay tuned in throughout the coming months for more insight into the top players leading up to the draft!
D’Angelo Russell (Freshman, Ohio State)
Point Guard-Shooting Guard/6’5/180 lbs/Age: 18
Product of…Montverde Academy (Louisville, Kentucky)
Quick Stats (as of February 4th):
19.4 points/game, 5.2 assists/game, 5.6 rebounds/game
D’Angelo Russell, one of the top freshmen in the country, is a cinch to lockdown the Big Ten’s Newcomer of the Year Award. With his versatile scoring and passing ability, many Buckeye fans liken him to former #2 overall pick, Evan Turner. Unlike Turner, however, Russell is a true two-guard at the next level and has the moxie and fearlessness to take control of games by staying aggressive on both ends.
As a left-handed player with a nice all-around game, his unorthodox style makes him tough for defenses to game plan against. So far, he’s already torched teams like Northwestern (33 points, 7 rebs, 6 assists) and Maryland (18 points, 14 rebs) while looking in a class of his own. While he is still turnover prone and needs to improve the range on his jumper, Russell is a star in the making. A top 3 selection is not out of the question.
-Excellent shot creator (rare trait amongst guards at such a young age) and finisher; strong upper body with the ability to absorb contact and make tough plays; creative passer who shows promise initiating pick and rolls
-Lightning-quick release on his jumper; though his range is a work in progress, projects as a high-level shooter in a few years
-Immense defensive potential; long wingspan (6’9) creates opportunities to push the break off of deflections and steals
-Does not “wow” with his athleticism; average by NBA standards
-With most kids his age, Russell needs to develop overall consistency on the defensive side; takes plays off at times
-Lacks range out to the NBA 3-point line; improvements will show with more reps and spot-up opportunities; needs to put more arc on his jumper to alter his release point
D.O.G. Status: Russell has the chance to be a Top D.O.G. in the Association one day. With a silky smooth game reminiscent of Brandon Roy, he is a surefire top 10 pick who’ll continue to turns heads as March Madness approaches.
NBA Comparison: Brandon Roy