Mercedes  Russell

21Mercedes Russell

RS Sophomore

Springfield, Ore.

High School:
Springfield H.S.




  • Points: 25// Ohio State, 3/25/16
  • Rebounds: 15 // Ohio State, 3/25/16*
  • Assists: 3 // Arizona St., 3/20/16*
  • Steals: 2 // LSU, 2/21/16*
  • Blocks: 6 // Tenn. State, 12/17/13
  • Field Goals: 12 // Ohio State, 3/25/16
  • 3-Pointers: --
  • Free Throws: 6 // UAlbany, 11/27/15
  • Minutes:38 // Texas A&M, 2/7/16


  • 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)


  • 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.
  • Ranked 28th in the SEC in points per game (9.9), second in blocks per game (1.8), fifth in rebounds per game (8.3), ninth in offensive rebounds (2.9) and fifth in defensive rebounds per game (5.4).
  • Recorded 66 blocks in the 2015-16 season which ties Kelley Cain (2011-12) for eighth most blocks in a single season by a Lady Vol while also averaging 1.83 blocks 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 over 20 against Central Arkansas (11/15) and Ohio State (3/25).
  • Led the team in rebounding 14 times and was the leading shot blocker 25 times, including the 11 times she recorded three or more rejections.
  • Finished with 10 or more rebounds 12 times including twice with 15 or more rebounds against Virginia Tech (12/6) and Ohio State (3/25).
  • 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.
  • Recorded 11 double-doubles which tied with Mary Ostrowski (1981-82) for third most double-doubles by a sophomore.
  • Eight of her 11 double-doubles occurred in four sets of back-to-back games throughout the season.
  • Tallied career highs with 25 points and 15 rebounds on 12-16 shooting in 37 minutes vs. #9 Ohio State in the Sweet 16.
  • Notched 10 points and 11 rebounds against Alabama for her 10th double-double of the year, the 15th player and 22nd time in UT history a player has recorded 10 or more double-doubles in a season.
  • Posted 11 points, nine rebounds and three blocks in 37 minutes against #12/11 Texas A&M.
  • Scored 12 points and added two blocks in her return to Oregon against #7/7 Oregon State.
  • Notched 14 points and a career-high 15 rebounds in recording her fourth double-double of the year against Virginia Tech.
  • Scored a team-high 12 points and a had season-high five blocks in the win over UAlbany as she opened the season with five straight games in double figures
  • Tallied a double-double for the second consecutive game with a 14-point, 13-rebound, two-block effort against Penn State on 11/18/15.
  • Recorded her first career double-double by posting 20 points and 13 rebounds on 10-16 shooting against Central Arkansas in the season opener.

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 Tom & Peg Haynes Olympic Development Endowment and the Perry Stuart Smith Women's Basketball Scholarship Endowment.
  • Follow @MerSladezz on Twitter and @mersladezz on Instagram.


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