D’Angelo Russell has continued to impress throughout his senior year, and impressed again Thursday as he led the tenth seeded Buckeyes over the seventh seeded VCU Rams in Portland.
During the regular season, Russell averaged 34 minutes per game and averaged 19 points, 6 rebounds, and 5 assists; one of only 3 players to do that in all of the NCAA this year.
Russell proved to be one of the most unnoticed players in the country this year after scoring double digit points in all but one game this season. Today, it was much of the same for the first year man out of Louisville, Kentucky.
Shooting 50% from the field, and an impressive 4 of 7 from behind the arc, Russell led all scorers in the game with stand out numbers. It was a late first half run from the Buckeyes that pulled them within one, and that run was led by Russell, who scored 10 points in the final 5 minutes.
In the second half, Russell added 11 more points before he was elbowed by Doug Brooks.
Blood streamed down the left side of Russell’s face after he absorbed the blow above his eye with about 5 minutes to play in regulation. Trainers cleaned up the wound with a bandage on the bench, which was the only time all game Russell rested, playing 44 minutes. Officials reviewed the play and called a flagrant foul on Brooks.
Russell went on to score 4 points in the overtime period, and it was his layup to start the overtime that set the tone for the remainder of the period for Ohio State.
With his performance in the second round, Russell and company will take on the second seeded Arizona Wildcats Saturday in what could be Russell’s final game in an Ohio State uniform.
According to nbadraft.net, Russell is expected to be the second overall pick in this year’s draft, and many experts believe that the New York Knicks would be a good destination for Russell. Ranked a 98 out of 100, Russell is one of the most complete players in this years group of freshman behind only Jahlil Okafor.
If you haven’t seen an Ohio State game this season, tune in Saturday to see the Buckeyes take on another very talented freshman in Stanley Johnson with Arizona.
*Section Photo credit to Jamie Sabau, Getty Images; Featured Photo (above) credit to Joe Maiorano, USA Today Sports