Russell Named CBS Sports College Basketball National Player of the Week

Photo Credit: Alan Hubbard
Photo Credit: Alan Hubbard

KINGSTON, R.I. - The explosive play of Rhode Island sophomore Fatts Russell garnered national attention, as the guard was named the CBS Sports College Basketball National Player of the Week.

In recognizing Russell's performance last week in wins at Saint Joseph's and against Massachusetts, CBSSports.com Senior Writer Matt Norlander wrote, "Congratulations to Rhode Island sophomore point guard Fatts Russell, who has one of the best names in college basketball and is coming off one of the best weeks of his Rams career."

In the final two games of the regular season, Russell averaged 34.0 points, 4.5 steals, 4.0 assists and 2.5 rebounds per game while leading the Rams to wins at Saint Joseph's and against Massachusetts. At Saint Joseph's, Russell scored a career-high 41 points in an 86-85 overtime win.

He scored the final 19 Rhode Island points in the game, including all nine overtime points. The 41 points were the most ever in a road game by a Rhode Island player. Russell's outburst was the highest scoring total by any Atlantic 10 player in a game this season. It also was the most points in a game by a URI player since Tom Garrick scored a program record 50 points against Rutgers in the 1988 Atlantic 10 Championship. That game was played in West Virginia.

The performance tied for the eighth most points in a game by one player in Rhode Island history. Outside of the games by Russell and Garrick, the seven other 41-points-or-higher performances by Rhode Island players happened in home games. Five of those games occurred before 1960.

Russell also had a career-high seven 3-point baskets, just the 11th time in URI history a player has made at least seven. It was the most by a Rhode Island player since Xavier Munford had eight at Auburn on Nov. 25, 2012.

Russell followed up the Saint Joseph's performance by scoring 27 points against Massachusetts. He also had a career-high six steals to go with five assists. For the week, he shot 22-of-39 from the floor (56.4 percent), 8-for-16 from 3-point range (50.0 percent) and 16-for-23 at the free throw line (69.6 percent).