One out, one in.
Fifth-year guard Cedric Russell, who led the Louisiana Ragin' Cajuns in scoring last season, is transferring to Ohio State to play his final year of college basketball, Eleven Warriors confirmed. He'll help shore up the backcourt with Chris Holtmann making the decision to add another guard to the mix once Duane Washington Jr. opted to stay in the 2021 NBA Draft.
Russell, who stands 6-foot-2 and weighs 190 pounds, chose the Buckeyes over his four other finalists – Oklahoma, Texas Tech, Marquette, and St. John's. He has one year of eligibility remaining.
The Russell File
- Year: Senior
- Size: 6-foot-2, 190 pounds
- Pos: Guard
- School: Louisiana
- Stats: 17.2 points, 3.2 rebounds, 1.5 assists per game last season
The pursuit of Russell didn't take long at all. He entered himself into the transfer portal on June 30, just in time to be immediately eligible at another school. That happened to be just one day after Washington announced he'd stick to his plan of going pro. Tony Skinn, the first-year assistant coach, had recruited Russell when he worked for Louisiana Tech and helped Ohio State get involved in his recruitment and pull off landing a quick commitment from the high-scoring backcourt addition.
Russell, who was a first-team All-Sun Belt selection a few months ago, led the Ragin' Cajuns in scoring last season with 17.2 points per game on a 41.9/40.0/76.7 shooting split. He spent four years at Louisiana and started the past three of them, turning into the go-to guy in his final season in Lafayette.
He's not much of a distributor, having averaged 1.2 assists compared to 2.5 turnovers in 33.6 minutes per game last season, and he's going to be undersized defensively in a high-major conference. But those aren't the reasons why Russell is a Buckeye. The hope on Ohio State's end is that the fifth-year senior can provide some of the outside shooting and shot-making that went out the door when Washington exited. He has a knockdown 3-point stroke that has helped him shoot 37.5 percent from the outside in his college career, and he'll likely see more open shots at his new stop where he won't be asked to do as much by himself.
Russell joining the Buckeyes finalizes their guard situation, and their roster entirely, for the 2021-22 season.
He becomes the 14th scholarship player on the roster, joining Penn State transfer Jamari Wheeler, fifth-year senior Jimmy Sotos, sophomore Meechie Johnson and freshman Malaki Branham in the backcourt. Jimmy Sotos and Kyle Young do not count to the 13-scholarship count since they're using the free year of eligibility offered by the NCAA in response to the pandemic.
There are a lot of words you can use to describe him, but the best way to say it is Cedric Russell is the Heart & Soul of the Louisiana Ragin Cajuns. #HeCanPlay @RaginCajunsMBB @SunBelt pic.twitter.com/nh4pOUBPnA— College Insider Inc. (@collegeinsider) March 5, 2021