Word came out this afternoon that Northern Arizona star guard DeWayne Russell would be leaving the program. Needless to say, assuming it is true (the school is expected to put out a press release soon), it’s a huge loss for the Lumberjacks and head coach Jack Murphy. I’m not sure the reason for the departure, as it comes as a total surprise to me. I am not sure who had the news first.
As a true freshman last season, Russell averaged 14.4 points, 3.2 assists, and 1.5 steals per game. At times, he looked like he had the makings of being a star in the Big Sky, and they were expected to rely heavily on him this season.
Russell had a decent outside shot (34% from three-point range), and one of the quickest first steps in the conference. He had quick hands defensively, even if he was still a work in progress on that end of the court. It is unfortunate to see him leaving the Big Sky, as the conference and the Lumberjacks are weakened by his departure.
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