Congratulations to Rhode Island sophomore point guard Fatts Russell, who has one of the best names in college basketball and is coming off one of the best weeks of his Rams career.
The CBS Sports College Basketball National Player of the Week honoree led URI to a 2-0 stretch to close out the regular season and did so in fortunate fashion. Russell averaged 34.0 points, 4.5 steals, 4.0 assists and 2.5 rebounds in wins over Saint Joseph's and UMass. URI finished the regular season 16-14 overall with a 9-9 mark in the A-10. It is the No. 8 seed in this week's Atlantic 10 Tournament with the semifinals on CBS Network and the finals on CBS and streaming on fuboTV
Russell dropped 41 points, a season-high for all A-10 players in 2018-19, in URI's 86-85 overtime win against Saint Joseph's. He clinched the win for Rhody by scoring the final 19 points for URI, which included nine in overtime. The 3-pointer Russell hit with 5.5 seconds forced the game into the bonus session.
No player in program history had ever scored 41 points in a road game. Not until now.
Russell managed to shoot 56.4 percent for the week (22 for 39) and was 50 percent (8 for 16) from 3-point range.
Rhode Island is coached by first-year headman David Cox, who took over after Dan Hurley left for UConn. With Russell on the roster, URI has a chance at being a spoiler in this season's A-10 tournament and can grow into a better team for 2019-20.