Russell leaving Ohio State for NBA

Published 4:26 am Thursday, April 23, 2015

COLUMBUS (AP) — D’Angelo Russell is moving on from Ohio State after one season.

The point guard and first-team All-America is making himself available for the NBA draft, he told on Wednesday.

“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,” Russell said. “At the same time I wanted to pursue my dream of playing in the NBA. I know what I am capable of and the sky’s the limit with effort. I know I have a lot to work on.”

Email newsletter signup

Ohio State announced Russell would hold a news conference on Thursday when he would discuss his “plans for the 2015-16 season.” But a team spokesman declined to confirm that Russell was leaving early for the pros.

A 6-foot-5 native of Louisville, Kentucky, Russell was the Big Ten freshman of the year. He led the Buckeyes in scoring with 19.3 points per game, helping them get to the round of 32 of the NCAA Tournament.

He set an Ohio State scoring record for freshmen with 675 points, while adding 5.7 rebounds and 5 assists a game. The left-hander shot 45 percent from the field, 41 percent on 3-pointers and 76 percent at the line.

NBA scouts had followed him all season. Most draft experts have him pegged as a top-five pick.