Ohio State's D'Angelo Russell Forgoes Final Three Years of Eligibility, Declares For NBA Draft

By Tim Shoemaker on April 22, 2015 at 5:50 pm

It's been known for quite some time now, but Wednesday evening D'Angelo Russell finally made it official: He's decided to declare for the 2015 NBA Draft, according to ESPN.

Nobody can fault Russell, really. The 6-foot-5 combo guard from Louisville was sensational at Ohio State during his freshman season finishing with averages of 19.3 points, 5.7 rebounds and 5.0 assists per game. He shot 44.9 percent from the field and connected on over 41 percent of his attempts from 3-point range.

"This was a hard decision because I knew I could come back and play with my teammates who I love and to be coached by Coach Thad Matta again would have been awesome, but at the same time I wanted to pursue my dream of playing in the NBA," Russell said to ESPN.com on Wednesday. "I know what I am capable of and the sky's the limit with effort. I know I have a lot to work on."

Russell was named Big Ten Freshman of the Year, was a first-team all-conference selection and was a consensus first-team All-American. He also won the Jerry West Award, given to the nation's best shooting guard. 

"You never know when this opportunity comes," Russell told ESPN.com. "I believe I am ready because my approach was to unpack my bags, get committed to winning and listening to the coaches — as opposed to coming in and saying I am a pro and trying to leave. I wasn't trying to get in and out at Ohio State."

Russell saw his draft stock skyrocket throughout his freshman season in Columbus. Most NBA mock drafts have him going somewhere in the top-five picks in the draft. That was simply an opportunity too good to pass up.

Russell leaves the Buckeyes after scoring 675 points — the most ever recorded in a single season for a freshman at Ohio State.

An Ohio State spokesman announced Wednesday night Russell and head coach Thad Matta will hold a press conference 3 p.m. Thursday to "discuss Russell's plans for the 2015-16 season."

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