Weight: 193 lb
Position: Point Guard
NBA Combine Measurements:
Draft Projection: Top 5
2014-2015 NCAA Statistics:
19.3 PPG 5.7 RPG 5.0 APG 1.6 STL 44.9 FG% 41.1 3PT% 75.6 FT%
NBA Player Comparison: Manu Ginobli
D’Angelo Russell was one of the greatest players during this past NCAA season. Averaging over 19 points, 5 rebounds, and 5 assists per game is no small task for one of the most prestigious basketball universities in the country. He carried Ohio State to the NCAA Tournament and helped them pull an impressive upset over VCU in the first round by scoring 28 points. Russell was asked to carry a heavy load of the offense throughout the season. In only 4 games all season did D’Angelo shoot under 10 shots. Hard to imagine a freshman taking that role and excelling in it, but that is exactly what D’Angelo Russell did.
Russell looks ready for the NBA. He has a nice size for the PG position at 6’5 and can shoot the ball extremely well. His explosiveness and dribble penetration will need some work. He will need to gain some muscle in the off-season and hopefully he can fall right above the 200 pound range. I have to say that it was impressive seeing him at 193 pounds at the combine since he had been listed at 175 pounds going into the season. His handles are good, but he won’t be able to keep up defensively with some of the better point guards in the NBA if he doesn’t put on some muscle. Some question whether he is a true point guard or not, but his incredible court vision and passing skills justify the need for him to be a point guard in the NBA.
Manu Ginobli is the NBA player that I picked to compare to Russell because D’Angelo has said that he has tried to model his game off of Ginobli’s. Both Ginobli and Russell are incredible distributors for their size. Ginobli is one of the best in the NBA in recognizing defenses and finding the open man cutting to the basket. D’Angelo showed a lot of that same vision in his lone year at Ohio State. Because Ginobli has pretty much always been a sixth man for the Spurs, he never truly was able to show what he could do in terms of statistics. If Russell truly has modeled his game off of Manu and has the same kind of potential as Ginobli had, then it will be fun to see what new heights Russell will be able to reach with his incredible talent.
Future Professional Potential: All-Star