After posting averages of 14.4 point and 3.2 assists per game as a freshman in 2012-13, Northern Arizona guard DeWayne Russell had the look of a player head coach Jack Murphy could build around as he looks to improve the Lumberjacks’ standing within the Big Sky. However that won’t be happening, as it was reported by VerbalCommits.com that Russell has decided to leave the program.
The news was confirmed by multiple outlets, and Russell’s decision comes just three days before NAU opens regular season play at UTSA.
The 5-foot-11 Russell, who hails from Peoria, Ariz., originally committed to attend USC before ultimately landing at NAU. Last season Russell reached double figures (scoring) in 25 of the Lumberjacks’ 32 games, scoring a career-high 25 points on two separate occasions. Russell’s departure means that NAU will be without their top two scorers from last season, as Gabe Rogers (17.9 ppg) graduated.
Russell scored a team-high 27 points in the Lumberjacks’ lone exhibition, a 92-85 loss to Arizona Christian on October 31. Three other NAU players reached double figures on the night, including freshman guard Kris Yanku (12 points), and he stands to see even more playing time now that Russell has left the program.
Forwards Gaelen Bewernick (6.0 ppg, 5.9 rpg) and Max Jacobsen (9.0, 4.6) are the two returning starters for NAU, with ten newcomers (five junior college transfers) joining the program.