Russell is draft's most skilled player

Joe Maiorana/USA TODAY Sports

Ohio State's D'Angelo Russell is the most skilled player in June's NBA draft.

Barring an injury, the No. 1 pick has been established. It will be Duke big man Jahlil Okafor. Look for Russell (who turns 19 on Feb. 23) to make a strong case to be selected next.

At 6-foot-5 and armed with a 6-9 wingspan, Russell has a unique ability to control a college basketball game with his scoring, passing, basketball intelligence and leadership. But most impressive is that he already possesses the poise and countenance of a 10-year NBA veteran.

Virtually everything the left-handed Russell has accomplished for Ohio State this season has been done with great efficiency. In fact, he makes spectacular plays look simple, and simple plays, from a coach's perspective, look spectacular.

Let's start with his passing. Although Russell is the leading freshman scorer in the country at 19.4 points per game, it is his incredible vision and confidence to throw passes into tight spots that impress me the most, and he is averaging 5.2 assists a contest.

Great passers find teammates who often don't even realize that they are open. A perfect example of this creativity is this one-hand bounce pass against Northwestern. Watch how Russell waits for Sam Thompson to clear the screen before delivering this perfect pass with great wrist strength. To me, this is the "pass of the year" in college basketball.