Big point guards don't come around very often. When they do, they are usually a hot commodity. Nick Russell, a 6-foot-5, 185-pound floor general from Grace Prep in Arlington, Texas, is both.
There is a good chance that Russell, a class of 2009 prospect, becomes a highly sought after player after a strong showing on the AAU circuit this spring. He is coming off a strong junior campaign where he helped his team win 29 games and ended the year in the state title game.
Russell said he averaged roughly 23 points, six rebounds and five assists a game. The bonus with him is his ability to play the point guard position.
"I like playing the one a lot. I can go off the dribble a lot easier. I'm a big guard so it is hard to guard me for the smaller guards. I like taking my guy down into the post. I like playing the one more than two. I can play both spots but I like the ball in my hands," Russell said.
"There just aren't that many big guards out there. I think I'm a lucky one."
Russell said he will play with the Dallas Mustangs this spring and summer on the AAU trail. He hopes to continue the upswing in the next couple of months.
"I'm really motivated because I feel like I've really improved but I feel like I still have a lot more room to grow," Russell said. "I just have to keep working hard in the gym and doing what I've done to get me to where I'm at now."
Where he is right now is good. Russell may not be a big name on the national recruiting scene, yet, but he has a long list of suitors already in tow.
"Right now recruiting is going pretty good. It is kind of slow right now but I am sure it's because of the tournaments and stuff," he said. "I'm sure it will pick up in the spring and summer. Overall, it's going really well. I'm happy with it."
With interest from Baylor, Texas A&M, Iowa, Vanderbilt, Texas, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Wisconsin, Notre Dame, Marquette and others, Russell is happy with how his recruitment is going. He said there are a couple of schools that have stood out.
"Iowa, Vanderbilt, Baylor and Texas A&M. They have shown a lot of interest. A lot. They send a lot of emails," Russell said. "I've talked to coaches from each of those schools. I get a lot of mail from them. They show probably the most interest in me. They have all been out to see me, Iowa and Vanderbilt the most.
"It's an important time of year. I have to keep playing hard. I want to hear from Duke and I'm going to keep trying until I get that. I just want to get better and get ready for the next level."
Russell said he is watching closely to what each program has to offer.
"I want to get along with the coaches and players. I want to be around good people that will take care of me," Russell said. "I want to play with good players and good coaches. I want to play but I'm going in looking to play the entire game. I'm realistic. Location doesn't really matter. That doesn't bother me."