As the nation’s No. 1-ranked girls basketball player in the Class of 2013 (as rated by HoopGurlz), Mercedes Russell was expectedly busy this season leading her team to a 24-4 record.
The two-time Gatorade Oregon Girls Basketball Player of the Year was a member of 2012 USA Women’s U17 World Championship Team. She capped her stellar career with 2,273 points, 1,642 rebounds and 562 blocked shots. To all of her future Division-I opponents: good luck trying to stop her.
Russell is the focus of this week’s American Family Insurance ALL-USA Watch.
This week’s player: Mercedes Russell, Springfield (Ore.), Center
2012-13 stats: 25.1 points, 12.3 rebounds, 5.5 blocks, 3.9 assists and 2.0 steals
Best Game: In a game against Braintree on Jan. 18, Russell had 25 points, 17 rebounds and eight blocks, anchoring the Millers’ 51-42 victory.
Others’ take: “She spends most of her time around the hoop, but she can handle the ball from the outside on the perimeter. She’s quicker than what she appears. Whether she’s out on the perimeter or under the basket, it’s very difficult to get a shot off on her.” —Marshfield (Ore.) coach Bruce Bryant
Look Out For: Washington County (Ga.) guard Allisha Gray, who is considered a top 10 prospect for the Class of 2013. The North Carolina commit returned to the court in January after being sidelined while rehabbing from an ACL tear. Prior to the injury, Gray had averaged 30 points per game during her junior season, when she was also named to the 2012 USA Basketball Women’s U18 National Team.