KNOXVILLE, Tenn. -- The Associated Press released its 2017 women’s basketball All-America team, and Tennessee redshirt junior Mercedes Russell was included as an honorable mention selection.
Russell, a 6-foot-6 center from Springfield, Ore., was Tennessee’s second leading scorer this season at 16.1 points per contest, ranking ninth in the SEC with that average and 10th all-time among Lady Vol juniors. She led UT and ranked fourth in the SEC in rebounding at 9.7 per game, which is an average that is tied as the fourth-best ever recorded by a Tennessee player and matches Glory Johnson for the best-ever by a Lady Vol junior.
In addition to pacing Tennessee 10 times in scoring, 20 times in rebounding and 17 times in blocked shots this season, her .562 field goal percentage was fifth in the SEC, while her 1.4 blocks per game were fifth and her 34.6 minutes per game ranked sixth.
Russell led the SEC and was seventh nationally this season in double-doubles with 19, which was the highest total by a Lady Vol junior in school history. Only Candace Parker (21 as a sophomore) had more double-doubles in a season at Tennessee.
On Saturday evening, Russell announced via social media that she was returning in 2017-18 for her final season at Tennessee. She is scheduled to finish her undergraduate degree in communication studies in May.