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


  • AP Honorable Mention All-American -- 2016-17
  • WBCA Honorable Mention All-American -- 2016-17
  • WBCA All-Region Team -- 2016-17
  • AP All-SEC Second Team -- 2016-17
  • Coaches All-SEC Second Team -- 2016-17
  • SEC Academic Honor Roll -- 2016-17
  • SEC Player of the Week (1/3) -- 2016-17
  • College Sports Madness SEC Player of the Week (1/3) -- 2016-17
  • 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)


  • Named to the 2017 Coaches and AP All-SEC Second Team after improving several key areas of her game: points (9.9 to 16.1), rebounds (8.3 to 9.7) and free throw percentage (.554 to .671).
  • Russell was Tennessee's second-leading scorer at 16.1 per game and leading rebounder at 9.7 per contest, which was tied for the fourth highest single-season average in Lady Vol history with Glory Johnson. Her numbers are the best by a true center at UT since Daedra Charles (17.3/9.2) in 1990-91.
  • She is the SEC leader in double-doubles this season with 19, a total that ranks as the most ever by a Lady Vol junior, and scored in double figures in 30 of 32 games, including five with 20 or more points.
  • Scored 15+ points in 22 games this year after scoring 15+ in only four games over her first two years.
  • Notched 151 career blocks in her career, recently passing Tamika Catchings (136) for seventh on the school's all-time career blocks list against Auburn.
  • Led UT scoring in 10 games, rebounding 18 times and blocks on 17 occasions during her redshirt junior season, all of which were team-highs.
  • Tallied her 19th double-double of the season with 11 points and 13 rebounds against Louisville in the second round of the NCAA Tournament, passing Isabelle Harrison for the most double-doubles in a season by a Lady Vol junior and is second all time behind Candace Parker's 21 as a sophomore.
  • Posted 14 points and 10 rebounds in the Lady Vols win over Dayton in the first round of the NCAA Tournament.
  • Scored nine points and added 10 rebounds in win versus #3/2 Mississippi State while limiting the SEC's 6th Woman of the Year, Teaira McCowan, to just one point and five boards after allowing 14 points and nine rebounds in the first meeting.
  • In UT's game against Alabama, Russell became the 43rd Lady Vol to score 1,000 points. She finished with 17 in the game to go along with nine boards.
  • 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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