With the chase for March Madness in full swing and many NBA teams just hoping their seasons could end, we have begun our coverage of the 2015 NBA Draft. Last week, I published my initial one round mock draft and over the past few days, we have begun our NBA Scouting Reports on what are perceived to be the top three prospects in this years draft class, Jahil Okafor, Karl Anthony-Towns, and Emmanuel Mudiay. Today’s scouting report will feature the talented freshman guard for Ohio State, D’Angelo Russell. Russell, while nowhere near the athlete of Mudiay, is a much more polished offensive player who can score the ball in a variety of ways. He is a very good shooter and is rapidly improving as a point guard. He has drawn plenty of comparisons to current MVP Candidate James Harden and for good reason. Find out more about Russell and what he could provide to an NBA team by reading this detailed scouting report.
Name: D’Angelo Russell
Position: Point Guard/ Shooting Guard
Weight: 175 lbs
Age: 19 years old
2015 Stats: 19.3 PPG, 5.8 RPG, 5.2 APG, 1.6 SPG, 2.8 TO Per Game, 46.2 FG %, 43.2 3PT %, 75 FT%
Projected Draft Range: Top 5
Russell could be one of the top picks at guard for the 2015 NBA Draft. The Louisville, Kentucky native is currently averaging 19.3 points per game, 5.2 assists per game and 5.8 rebounds per game at Ohio State. These numbers, along with Russell’s height and wingspan make him an interesting in-between-guard for any NBA team that takes him.
Russell has very good physical attributes, with solid height, a good frame, long arms and big hands. This can be seen as an added bonus as he possesses things that can’t be taught by coaches at the NBA level. He has impressive explosiveness and is truly a gifted scorer. He showed this when he dropped 25 points in Ohio State’s first half against Minnesota. Russell is smooth and never lets the pressure of the game get to him. He always has his head on a swivel, looking for his open teammates or an open shot.
He is not shy about shooting, sometimes forcing up bad shots. He is currently shooting 46% from the field. But he isn’t a gunner. He takes shots with the flow of the offense. He has had a n issue with turnovers this season, but the unforced ones seem to be on a decline, a strong indicator of his steady improvement this year. The amount of quick shots has decreased for Russell as well, another indicator of progress.
I believe Russell is a very good player, that can be a starting point guard in the NBA as early as his first year in the NBA. He has tremendous court vision, and can put up points in a hurry. He is also an improved defensive player. I believe with the right cast around him, Russell could eventually be a star in this league, and a steal considering he might not even be a top 3 pick.