Class of 2014 star shooting guard D’Angelo Russell is one of the top players in his class and has the best programs in the country chasing after him, but he has the mindset of someone who has yet to pick up an offer.
“My dad has helped me the most throughout the recruiting process,” Russell told NRS. “He tells me to step on the court and play like no one is recruiting me. He tells me to play like I’m still looking for a scholarship and that helps me play the way I play every single game.”
That mentality has been paying huge dividends for Russell as he lists scholarship offers from some of the top schools in the country including Missouri, Xavier, Louisville, Indiana and Ohio State. He has also received dozens upon dozens of text messages and phone calls from these programs in the past four or five days.
“I would say Indiana, Ohio State and Missouri have been texting and calling the most [since the rules changed] and I just got a call from Kentucky yesterday,” Russell said. “When I talked to [Kentucky head] coach [John] Cal[ipari] yesterday, he explained how his starting five went to the league and even the sixth man went to the league so that caught my eye. It’s a tie between Ohio State, Indiana, Kentucky and Louisville for who’s been recruiting me the hardest.”
Because of that relationship that Russell has developed with John Calipari, Kentucky is one of two schools Russell will visit in the next couple of weeks. “I’m going to visit Cincinnati sometime this week and I’m going to Kentucky next week so they’ll probably offer when I visit but I’m not sure,” Russell added. “They asked me to come and I like all schools so I’m willing to visit anyone. I don’t have a favorite school right now, not a top five or anything like that.”
The Montverde Academy (FL) rising junior has an idea of what he’s looking for in a program too. “I’d probably say that I’m looking for the coaches who show that they care for the players and they want to better you everywhere,” Russell said. “Some place that I feel most comfortable. I definitely don’t want to play in a system that runs plays every second you’re on the court; I want to get out and run.”
Something that isn’t as clear, however, is when he’ll make a decision. “I’m not going to commit until as late as possible,” Russell added.