D'Angelo Russell was always highly regarded, but he still managed to slide under the radar when the discussion turned to the best in the Class of 2014. Until recently.
Let's face it: Russell, a Louisville native, went to an ideal situation. Ohio State coach Thad Matta desperately needed someone to score, and Russell can do that -- and much more.
Many who had seen him extensively in high school at Montverde Academy (Florida) raved about his versatility, his ability to make others better in addition to being able to score in a variety of ways. I remember talking to Matta in July, and he was adamant that Russell would be sharing point guard duties with veteran Shannon Scott.
Russell feasted on some cupcakes early in the season, and struggled with offensive efficiency in some of the Buckeyes' early nonconference matchups. However, he's been tremendous in league play, and has shot up in both the player of the year race and NBA draft boards.
Russell is second in the Big Ten in scoring (19.4 points per game), third in assists (5.2), third in 3-point percentage (45.0) and also ranks in the top 20 in rebounding (5.6). Last night in a disappointing loss to Purdue, Russell put in 20 points, 7 rebounds, 5 assists and 2 steals.
We reached out to a trio of Russell's opponents who had the unenviable task of having to try to defend Russell, and they provided our "Player vs. Player" breakdown on how to defend the talented frosh.