Hoops Star Mercedes Russell Says She Is Down to Louisville and Tennessee

Jon Hancock@@JonKYSportscoSenior Analyst IAugust 18, 2012

Picture from ESPN.com
Picture from ESPN.com

The most highly coveted women's basketball prospect in the country, Mercedes Russell, has narrowed her list to Louisville and Tennessee according to Maria Cornelius of InsideTennesse.com.

Russell is ranked the best player in the 2013 class according to ESPNU HoopGurlz.

The 6'5" post player from Springfield, Oregon has offers from several schools including Kentucky, Notre Dame, Georgia, USC, Duke, North Carolina, LSU and Baylor. Louisville and Tennessee have both received unofficial visits from Russell this summer.

Louisville's head coach Jeff Walz has recruited Russell hard, using two interesting methods to get her attention. The University of Louisville even put a billboard in Springfield, Oregon that read, "Louisville basketball supports its athletes from coast to coast." Walz also had her come to his skills camp.

ESPN says of the talented Oregon girl, "Russell plays a very mature game in the post and so few posts today actually perfect their craft around the basket before trying to add perimeter skills. She does a great job of dropping her hips to maintain leverage and always gives her guards a target to pass to. She has good footwork after the catch and good touch around the rim."

During her junior year Mercedes averaged 26 points, 15 rebounds, six blocks and five assists per game for Springfield High school. In May of this year she played for the USA Women's U17 World Championship Team where she helped win a gold medal.