Since departure from Northern Arizona University last month by 5-foot-11 high-scoring sophomore guard Dewayne Russell, the talented guard prospect has picked up loads of division-I college interest for himself.
It had seemed that Russell would be a integral part of the basketball program for the Lumberjacks, especially after a stellar freshman season where he posted averages of 14.4 points and 3.2 assists per game as a freshman in 2012-13. Instead, Russell and Northern Arizona head coach Jack Murphy would mutally part ways with one another just 3 days before the start to the 2013-2014 college basketball season.
Russell scored a team-high 27 points in the Lumberjacks’ lone exhibition, a 92-85 loss to Arizona Christian on October 31st. Just days later, Russell would get his release from the Northern Arizona basketball program.
Since obtaining his full release from NAU, Russell has become a serious recruiting target by many division-I college programs. Russell has received significant interest from Iowa, UAB, Saint Mary's, Creighton, Grand Canyon, Texas-San Antonio, North Texas, UTEP, Cal-State Bakersfield, Iona and Western Kentucky - with each school extending a scholarship offer to the high-scoring guard prospect.
Russell has taken official recruiting visits already to UAB, Saint Mary's and Cal-State Bakersfield, and has spent time on the campus of Grand Canyon University - speaking to head coach Dan Majerle and his staff.
Currently, not every one of the schools recruiting Russell has a scholarship at semester. Instead, many of the school's recruiting Russell will not have a scholarship for Russell until after the end of the school year, which would cause Russell to have to go the junior college route for a semester.
Russell indicated to me that he is no longer interested in attending a junior college, but instead wants to focus on schools that have a scholarship at the semester.
"I am only considering schools that have a scholarship now," said Russell.
Russell advised me that currently he is focused on UAB and Grand Canyon University as possible suitors for himself currently, and that he is also considering recent interest in North Texas as well.
Russell had a tremendous senior season in the state of Arizona - leading his high school program, Peoria High School, to the Division-II state championship after a narrow championship win over defending state-champion Amphitheater HS. Russell also led Peoria High School to an impressive 27-3 record on the season. Russell poured in an average of 27 points, 5.4 assists, 3.9 rebounds and 3.8 steals per/game during his senior season.
Russell was also selected by our Arizona Preps’ staff for an invite to the Reebok Breakout Camp in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in July.
Russell would also be selected as the Arizona Republic Big School Player of the Year.
Russell originally committed to attend USC before ultimately landing at NAU during his senior season.
Last season as a freshman for NAU, Russell reached double figures (scoring) in 25 of the Lumberjacks’ 32 games, scoring a career-high 25 points on two separate occasions.
Arizona Preps will continue to folow the college recruitment of Dewayne Russell closely, and bring you any updates as they continue to develop.
Arizona Hoop Review Scouting Report: Russell is as talented a guard prospect as there is for his size. His superior athleticism and quickness allows him to make plays most prospects his size cannot. He is a relentless driver of the basketball and has explosive quickness off the dribble, which he is able to use to create space off the dribble and finish plays. He has a nice jump shot shooting stroke, which he uses to make himself tough to defend off the bounce. Russell’s shot selection can be questionable at times, but he makes up for it with his tenacious attitude on the floor – always wearing his game face. He is an excellent defender and can become a lock-down defender if he chooses to focus on it. He has excellent lateral quickness and is known for beating his man to the spot on the floor. Russell is an excellent passer and has excellent court vision to boot, but he does gamble at times, but you can live with it. A very good penetrator that finishes plays over biger defenders, and also sets his teammates up nicely. A big-time sleeper prospect. Decommitted from USC in high school.