Mercedes  Russell

21Mercedes Russell

RS Junior

Springfield, Ore.

High School:
Springfield H.S.




  • Points: 26 // Auburn, 1/19/17
  • Rebounds: 17 // Georgia, 2/5/17
  • Assists: 3 // Missouri, 2/9/17*
  • Steals: 4 // Ole Miss, 1/12/17
  • Blocks: 6 // Vanderbilt, 1/5/17*
  • Field Goals: 12 // Ohio State, 3/25/16
  • 3-Pointers: --
  • Free Throws: 9 // JMU, 11/11/16
  • Minutes: 49 // Georgia, 2/5/17
  • *Indicated most recent high


  • SEC Player of the Week -- 2016-17 (12/26/16-1/1/17)
  • Naismith Trophy Preseason Watch List -- 2016-17
  • Coaches Preseason All-SEC Second Team -- 2016-17
  • NCAA Sioux Falls Regional All-Tournament Team -- 2016
  • Coaches Preseason All-SEC Second Team -- 2015-16
  • SEC First-Year Academic Honor Roll -- 2014
  • SEC Freshman of the Week -- 2013-14 (12/23-12/30)


  • Has improved her numbers across the board from last season: points (9.9 to 16.7), rebounds (8.3 to 9.4), assists (0.8 to 1.1) and free throw percentage (.554 to .693).
  • Scored 15+ points in 19 games this year after scoring 15+ in only four games over her first two years.
  • Recorded 14 double-doubles in this season (2nd in the SEC) and has 25 in her career (tied for 3rd amongst active SEC players), which ranks 10th in Tennessee history.
  • Notched 144 career blocks in her career, recently passing Tamika Catchings (136) for seventh on the school’s all-time career blocks list against Auburn.
  • Posted her 14th double-double of the season against Texas A&M with 17 points and 11 rebounds, tying Candace Parker for the third most by a junior in Lady Vol history.
  • Dropped 24 points, a career-high 17 rebounds, three blocks and two steals against Georgia.
  • Put together a dominant performance in the paint against #4 South Carolina, shooting 80 percent (8-10) from the field for 16 points to go along with 10 rebounds.
  • Tallied a career-high 26 points on 11-of-14 shooting against Auburn to go along with 11 rebounds, two blocks and a steal.
  • Totaled 13 points, four rebounds and two blocks against #6 Notre Dame, with the second block coming on the final shot of the game by the Irish from three that could have won the game for them.
  • Posted another dominant performance in win at Vanderbilt, totaling 15 points, 13 rebounds and six blocks, which tied her career high.
  • Named SEC Player of the Week (1/3/17) after dropping 20 points and 11 rebounds aganist UNCW followed up by 22 points and nine rebounds in UT's win over #17/23 Kentucky. This marks the second conference honor for Russell, who was the SEC Freshman of the Week in 2013.
  • Notched 11 points and 13 rebounds vs. #10 Stanford while holding All-Pac 12 honoree Erica McCall to 6-15 shooting and only six rebounds in the Lady Vols' win.
  • Scored 22 points and grabbed 12 rebounds and four blocks while holding #4 Baylor's post players Beatrice Mompremier (3-12), Kalani Brown (1-9) and Lauren Cox (0-3) to a combined 4-24 (16.7%) shooting. The Lady Bears threesome combined to shoot 60.4 percent from the floor entering the contest.


  • Averaged 9.9 points and led the team with 8.3 rebounds and 1.8 blocks per game while shooting a team best 54.8 percent from the field.
  • Recorded 66 blocks in the 2015-16 season, tying Kelley Cain (2011-12) for eighth-most blocks in a single season by a Lady Vol.
  • Averaged 1.83 blocks per game, which is the tenth-best single-season mark.
  • Currently ranks sixth in career blocks per game with an average of 1.49 rejections per contest.
  • Scored in double figures 20 times and had efforts of 20 or more points against Central Arkansas (20 on 11/15) and Ohio State (25 on 3/25).
  • Led the team in rebounding 14 times and was the leading shot blocker 25 times, including the 11 occasions when she recorded three or more rejections.
  • Averaged a double-double with 13.0 points, 10.3 rebounds and 1.0 blocks while shooting 68.6 percent in NCAA Tournament play and was named to the NCAA Sioux Falls Regional All-Tournament Team.
  • Finished third all-time among UT sophomores with 11 double-doubles, trailing only Candace Parker (21) and Chamique Holdsclaw (16).
  • Tallied career highs with a double-double of 25 points and 15 rebounds on 12-of-16 shooting in 37 minutes vs. #9 Ohio State in the NCAA Sweet 16.
  • Recorded her first-ever double-double by posting 20 points and 13 rebounds on 10-of-16 shooting against Central Arkansas in the season opener.
  • Scored 15 points, pulled down 11 rebounds and added three assists and blocks vs. Arkansas on Feb. 4.
  • Notched a career-high 15 rebounds and added 14 points vs. Virginia Tech.
  • Tallied another double-double with a 14-point, 13-rebound, two-block effort against Penn State on Nov. 18.
  • Recorded her third double-double of the season with 13 points and 10 boards on 6-of-11 shooting vs. ETSU.
  • Tallied 13 points along with eight rebounds and four blocks against Syracuse on Nov. 20.
  • Recorded 12 points, six boards and a team-high three assists and two blocks vs. Arizona State in the NCAA Second Round.
  • Posted 12 points and 13 rebounds while also tying her career high with three assists against Alabama.
  • Recorded a double-double with 12 points and 10 rebounds against Kentucky.
  • Scored 12 points and added two blocks in her return to her home state against #7/7 Oregon State.
  • Scored a team-high 12 points and had five blocks in the 63-55 victory over UAlbany, opening the season with five straight games in double figures.

2014-15 - SOPHOMORE

  • Sat out 2014-15 season as a redshirt to recover from off-season surgery on both feet.

2013-14 - FRESHMAN

  • Played in all 35 games, starting five, and led UT in blocked shots with 40 and field goal percentage at 59.6 percent (93-156).
  • Was team's fourth-leading rebounder (5.0 rpg.) and seventh-best scorer (6.3), averaging 18.5 minutes per contest as a rookie.
  • Scored in double figures nine times and had 10 or more rebounds on two occasions.
  • Shot 60 percent or better from the field in 18 games as a freshman.
  • Finished at 51.4 percent from the free throw line after getting off to a rocky start, but nailed 19-of-23 for 82.6 percent over the final 14 games.
  • Recorded a career-best 15 points against Chattanooga, hitting seven of 11 field goals and grabbing four rebounds in 22 minutes.
  • Scored 14 points against Georgia Tech, connecting on 6-of-8 shots from the field and 2-of-2 from the free throw line.
  • Instrumental in UT's SEC semifinal win vs. Texas A&M, scoring 11 points, going 4-for-4 from the field and 3-for-3 from the line, and grabbing six rebounds.
  • Posted career-best 11-rebound efforts vs. Missouri and at Texas A&M.
  • Picked up SEC Freshman of the Week honors (Dec. 30) after scoring 12 points and tallying seven rebounds and five blocks against Lipscomb.
  • Made her college debut at Middle Tennessee and contributed 11 points, seven rebounds and three blocks to the come-from-behind victory.
  • Racked up a career-best six blocks against Tennessee State to go with 12 points and seven caroms.
  • Shot 77.8 percent from the field (7-for-9) in NCAA postseason action.
  • Led UT in scoring for the first time with 12 points against Northwestern State in the NCAA First Round, going 5-for-6 from the field and a perfect 2-for-2 from the free throw line.


  • Three-time gold medalist with USA Basketball.
  • Most recently, she was victorious at the 2015 World University Games alongside UT teammate Diamond DeShields and with Holly Warlick serving as an assistant.
  • Led 2015 WUG team with 9.2 rpg. and was third in scoring at 13.0 ppg., recording three double-doubles and shooting 53.7 percent as the USA went 6-0 in the tourney.
  • In her two previous gold medal occasions, she played for squads coached by former Lady Vol Jill Rankin-Schneider.
  • Member of USA squad that won FIBA U17 World Championship in Amsterdam, The Netherlands, in August 2012.
  • Started all eight games for the U17 squad, averaging 8.9 points and 6.9 rebounds and hitting 64.0% from the field.
  • Also struck gold in June 2011 with the USA U16 team at the FIBA Americas Championship in Merida, Mexico.
  • Set USA U16 single-game records for rebounds (15) and blocks (5) and tournament records for rebounds (11.4) and blocks (4.0) averaged.
  • Started all five games, contributing 11.6 points, 11.4 rebounds and 4.0 blocks for that unit.


  • Named No. 1 player in the nation in 2013 by espnW HoopGurlz and Women's Basketball Insider.
  • Blue Star Basketball and Full Court both ranked her as the No. 2 player.
  • Highest ranked player to sign with Tennessee since Candace Parker in 2004.
  • Gatorade National and Oregon Girls Basketball Player of the Year (2013).
  • Was presented national award on March 20 by Olympic gold medalist and WNBA star Maya Moore.
  • Attended 2013 ESPYs as Gatorade National Female Athlete of the Year finalist.
  • American Family Insurance All-USA Girls Basketball First Team (2013).
  • Finalist for Naismith Girls High School Player of the Year (2013).
  • Named a WBCA and McDonald's All-American and a first-team MaxPreps All-American (2013).
  • Named MVP of McDonald's All-American game in Chicago on April 3, turning in 16 points, 12 rebounds and three blocked shots.
  • Class 5A State Player of the Year (2011, 2012, 2013).
  • Class 5A All-State First team (2011, 2012, 2013)
  • Led Springfield to a pair of 5A state titles (2011, 2012) and a runner-up finish (2013).
  • Averaged 25.1 points, 12.3 rebounds, 5.5 blocks, 3.9 assists and 2.0 steals as a senior.
  • Finished her prep career with 2,273 points to rank number four all-time in the state.
  • Also added 1,642 rebounds and 562 blocked shots during her career.
  • Averaged 26.0 points, 15.0 rebounds, 6.0 blocks and 5.0 assists as a junior.
  • Produced 24.5 points, 15.0 rebounds and 5.0 blocks per contest as a sophomore.
  • Honor roll student at SHS.


  • Full name is Mercedes Briann Russell.
  • Born on July 27, 1995, in Springfield, Ore.
  • Parents are Tammy Hill and Lorenzo Russell.
  • Shoots right-handed but writes with her left hand.
  • Lists Candace Parker as a role model.
  • Joins Kelley Cain and Vonda Ward as the three tallest players in UT history at 6-6.
  • Majoring in communication studies.
  • Recipient of the Lloyd Lawson Thornton Winners' Circle Scholarship.
  • Follow @MerSladezz on Twitter and @mersladezz on Instagram.


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