JUCO center to visit

by Brian McInnis on April 5, 2017

Casper College (Wyo.) center Colin Russell will take an official visit to Hawaii this weekend, sources confirmed.

Colin Russell (Casper College photo)

Colin Russell (Casper College photo)

Word is the 6-foot-10 (or 6-foot-9), 224-pound Russell is the first visitor of the spring. Russell, who averaged 9.1 points and 4.8 rebounds in 14.6 minutes per game for the Thunderbirds in 2016-17, would fill a need up front for the Rainbow Warriors. With Russell, the Thunderbirds went 24-9 and reached the second round of the NJCAA Region IX tournament.

UH has two scholarships to award at present, thanks to the NCAA’s reversed decision. Russell played his freshman season as a reserve at Portland of the West Coast Conference before transferring to Casper as a sophomore to get his associates degree.

Here’s a couple of videos on Russell.

He appears to be an above-average finisher, at 64.8 percent shooting — however, he shot just 37.4 percent at the foul line. His blocks per game average of 0.8 isn’t bad for someone whose minutes were in the mid-teens.

It sounds like Russell will be on campus the same time as the already signed Samuta Avea takes a visit from all the way up at the North Shore.

No word yet on who Russell’s other primary suitors are.

The signing period begins on April 12 and runs through May 17.

1 mctruck April 6, 2017 at 5:03 am

He seems to be a very flexible big guy who moves well around the basket. Loves to dunk when open and doesn’t hesitate using his size to bang.

2 iceebear April 6, 2017 at 7:04 am

Guy is a power finisher around the basket with good hands, nifty moves, and quickness for his size.

3 aaaaa April 6, 2017 at 7:52 am

Looks like he can help a lot. But gotta get better from the line.

4 Derek April 6, 2017 at 10:26 am

Video didn’t show him playing a lot of defense or shot blocking or a lot of rebounding, and I didn’t see him shooting any F/Ts. If his F/T shooting is 37% from the line that is unacceptable. If that’s the best Ganot can find and offer and sign a big man then I would say it’s a reach. The positive I see with Russell is that he runs well and shoots well making layups. I didn’t see him taking many mid range jumpers and not one 3 pointer. If his bad free throw shooting is any indication, his shooting stroke all around is bad, maybe even terrible. But, what do I know, I have to trust Coach Ganot and I’m sure he’ll get the best players for our team. Every scholarship is important. I like players who can shoot well and can play defense. Tough combination what that’s what you need to win games.

5 turfwar April 6, 2017 at 11:56 am

Recruiting against the vaunted Portland and Northern Arizona programs for this guy. In his third recruiting season it doesn’t look like Ganot and his staff will be the kind of recruiters that will bring back high end talent to the Islands. Good thing we’re in the Big West conference.

6 Blu808 April 6, 2017 at 2:09 pm

#5 Previous Hawaii coaches have not been consistently bringing in “high end” talent so I don’t what you mean by bringing it back. Many of Hawaii’s top players have been recruited as low or mediocre value recruits and have developed into top D1 talent. Aaron Valdes was a walk on and became a great player through development and coaching. I think coach Ganot will bring the right players in for the program and not just shoot for the “high level” player.

7 Hoosier April 6, 2017 at 2:28 pm

Always best to wait and see. And I would not be judging Ganot’s recruiting so harshly. Year one and two had a couple of handicaps called NCAA sanctions. And I believe Buggs and Green were recruited by some major schools. Add in recruitment of Purchase from Auburn (not exactly a small school) and ability to get transfers from Arizona State and UCLA and I see a coaching staff that competes pretty well for “high end” players. Bring in a couple of complementary players in this class and next year should be solid. Go Bows!

8 turfwar April 6, 2017 at 3:45 pm

You guys can say what you want about what you evaluate as good or highly recruited recruits that Ganot is bringing in but the bottom line is what he puts on the floor. The team he had last year was rubbish and nothing like the type of talent I have seen represent the University in most years since the 70’s. And I’m not alone, attendance was very poor last year and got worse as the year went on and if he continues to showcase similar talent he just won’t be around very long. There’s a lot to like about Ganot but the players he has recruited are terrible. But hey if you guys like watching this same team next year minus Noah Allen then more power to you. Owies, Flaisher, Drammeh, Lewis, Raimo… all recruited scholarship guys were painful to watch. Gib had moments and Purchase can shoot but returning sf Mike Thomas was just a 7 ppg guy as a junior and it would be a bit much to expect him at 13-14 ppg next year and Buggs is not a guy anybody has said will definitely beat out a walkon for the starting PG position. Noah was a heck of a talent but unless he’s bringing in a couple of Noah’s we could look very similar next year. But hey we got the Arkansas Pine-Bluff types again scheduled next year and there will continue to be fans that give excuses that Ganot is recruiting with a disadvantage for one thing or another. Thing is I have never heard a coach admit he was at a recruiting disadvantage but you guys continue to give Ganot excuses into his third class. So by your reasoning can we expect better in year 4 or are we really looking forward to his recruiting class in year 5? If there’s no talent again this recruiting class his days will be numbered and so will Matlin’s if he can’t make men’s basketball a bread winner. Can’t expect football to carry every other sport.

9 Hoosier April 6, 2017 at 4:12 pm

Must have missed the news that bb made money this past year despite problems. Tickets sold improved. But don’t be distracted by facts. I would love to see us vying for Big West championship every year. Do I expect that in year 3? C’mon. And I think Maitlin is doing okay with hires like Rolo and Ganot. Schedule should and will improve. And no one is making excuses. We are stating facts about what affects recruiting. SMU death penalty had definite impact on their recruiting. It sure wasn’t about the coach or AD not being able to bring back the Dickerson and James

10 ruffles April 6, 2017 at 4:25 pm

what people fail to mention is that coach ganot was already handicapped upon being hired as the UH head coach. what top tiered recruit would consider a school under ncaa punishment of no post season and loss of scholarships and also on probation. these are the reasons why the remaining talent left leaving the cupboard bare. coach ganot did over achieve with the talent that he had, thus showcasing his coaching abilities. now with some of the punishment withdrawn and the scholarships restored he has a better dealt hand, and I think we really will see what he can do. I personally think that we have got a hell of a great young coach which bodes well for the future of UH men’s basketball.

11 Abcdeer April 6, 2017 at 4:44 pm

Ayy turfwar you made my day

12 Hoosier April 6, 2017 at 5:25 pm

abcdeer, u made mine too. Gun to talk about basketball

13 warriorsanddolphins April 6, 2017 at 8:05 pm

What some of you armchair recruiting evaluators forgot is that its hard to recruit when you are on probation. I dont care how terrible you think the team was this year. Now, Ganot finds out he has 2 scholarships to give out. He finds out in March, just one month to the early signing period. Most of the good recruits have already made their decision a long time ago. But being the recruiting evaluator that you are, you probably already new this.

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