While he may have missed the first two games of the season, senior guard DeWayne Russell has been among the nation’s best players in 2016-17.
Once he made his debut on November 19th against the Albany Great Danes, both Russell and the Grand Canyon Antelopes have been on quite the roll.
Russell has already played the most minutes of any player on the roster, despite playing two less games than several of his teammates. He has played all 40 minutes in five games, and hasn’t played less than 31 minutes in a contest.
On top of that, he has scored in double figures in each of the 11 games he’s played. Since his return, the Antelopes have gone 8-3, and currently sit at 8-5 on the year. The team has been without the services of Joshua Braun for the last seven games, but the play of Russell has kept the Antelopes on a roll.
This past week, Grand Canyon played a pair of games in the days leading up to Christmas, and Russell continued his strong play over the first half of the season.
In the Antelopes’ two wins, Russell averaged 29.0 points per contest, while also adding 4.0 rebounds, 4.0 assists, and 2.0 steals per game.
For his efforts last week, DeWayne Russell has been named the College Court Report Player of the Week for the week of December 19 – 25, 2016!
This past week, the Antelopes continued a four-game homestand with dates against the Alcorn State Braves and the Arkansas-Pine Bluff Golden Lions.
The home swing would take the Antelopes into conference play, which begins on New Year’s Eve, where they head on the road for one game before conference play opens in the New Year.
On Tuesday night, the Antelopes welcomed the Braves to town, in what was a closer-than-expected game between the two programs. Grand Canyon had to work a little harder for the win, but came away with the 63-53 victory over Alcorn State.
In the victory, Russell put up 27 points, while going a perfect 13-of-13 from the free throw line. He also added 3 rebounds, 4 assists, and 2 steals in an all-round solid performance.
Two nights later, this time against the Golden Lions, the Antelopes had a much easier time, and Russell one-upped himself from the game before. Grand Canyon rolled to the 40-point win over Arkansas-Pine Bluff, extending their winning streak to three games with their 89-49 win.
In 37 minutes of action, Russell recorded 31 points, and he shot a scorching 75% (6-of-8) from three point range. Add in his 5 rebounds, 4 assists, and 2 steals, and it was yet another strong performance all around for the native of Peoria, AZ.
In the two wins, Russell averaged 29.0 points, 4.0 rebounds, 4.0 assists, and 2.0 steals per game, while only recording five combined turnovers.
For the year, the 5’11” guard is averaging a team-high 25.2 points per game, while also averaging 3.5 rebounds and 4.9 assists per contest. He’s shooting 44.0% from the field, and 48.1% from three point range.
Russell ranks third in the nation in scoring, trailing only Marcus Keene (31.9 ppg) and Alec Peters (25.9 ppg).
After extending his double-digit scoring streak to 11 games to open the season, and 16 games dating back to last season, DeWayne Russell and the Grand Canyon Antelopes are now 8-5 on the year, and look to be a top contender once again in the Western Athletic Conference.
For his efforts, DeWayne Russell has been named the College Court Report Player of the Week for the week of December 19 – 25, 2016!
The WAC has now had back-to-back Player of the Weeks from College Court Report, with Ian Baker taking home the award last week.
– T. Bennett
Dec. 12 – 18, 2016: Ian Baker, New Mexico State Aggies
Nov. 28 – Dec, 4, 2016: Jaylen Adams, St. Bonaventure Bonnies
Nov. 21 – 27, 2016: Marquise Moore, George Mason Patriots
Nov. 14 – 20, 2016: Eric Mika, BYU Cougars
Nov. 11 – 13, 2016: Jairus Lyles, UMBC Retrievers
**College Court Report Player of the Week recipients are selected from teams in the following conferences:
America East, Atlantic Sun, Atlantic 10, Big Sky, Big South, Big West, Colonial, Conference USA, Horizon League, Ivy League, MAAC, MAC, MEAC, Missouri Valley, Northeast, Ohio Valley, Patriot League, Southern, Southland, Summit League, SWAC, Sun Belt, West Coast, and WAC