D’Angelo Russell is a 6’5″ point guard/shooting guard who led the Ohio State Buckeyes into the NCAA Tournament. While he wasn’t listed on the same level as Karl Towns or Jahlil Okafor in the High School class of 2014, he nevertheless emerged as one of America’s great young talents at the guard position. He was named to the All-Big Ten squad, also taking home the Freshman of the Year honor in the conference.
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Russell has an incredible basketball IQ, perhaps the most developed in the draft. While most guards coming out of college rely more on slashing and shooting and getting directly to the basket, D’Angelo can rely on his good build (6’5″ 180 lbs.) and his feel of the game to develop a game plan around any situation. Another advantage to having D’Angelo Russell is that he can create so many mismatches due to the fact that he can be paired up with many different styles on offense. He can facilitate play with guards who rely heavily on outside shooting, or he can be the outside shooter (41% from three-point range) while other guards slash their way to the basket. Regardless of the situation, Russell can be a dangerous weapon for any team.
His other strengths include his ability to shoot off the dribble, his efficiency as a guard, and his great shooting ability. His frame allows him to be a solid rebounder (5.7 RPG), and it also gives him the ability to become an outstanding defender at the next level. His passing is by far his most developed skill so far, so he can utilize that early on in his NBA career.
His only weakness is his lack of explosiveness to create fast breaks, and his ability to get to the basket raises some questions as to how he can become an elite guard in the NBA. His shooting, passing, and basketball IQ more than make up for that fact, though, and he should be a special talent at the next level.
33.9 Min, 19.3 PTS, 5.7 RPG, 5 Asts, 44.9 FG%, 41 3P%