Russell was a consensus All-American in 2015, making the first team on the Sporting News, United States Basketball Writers Association (USBWA), National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC) and Associated Press All-America squads. He was named 2015 Big Ten Freshman of the Year, first team All-Big Ten, a member of the Big Ten All-Freshman team and honored with the Jerry West Award, given to the nation’s top collegiate shooting guard. He also was a 2015 Ohio State Scholar Athlete.
Russell set an Ohio State freshman record in leading the Buckeyes in scoring with 675 points, leading the Buckeyes and all freshmen nationally with 19.3 points per game. He led the team in scoring in 24 games this season and his 32-consecutive double-figure scoring games marked the most by an Ohio State freshman since Jared Sullinger had a streak of 17 games in 2010-11.
Russell, a two-time Big Ten Player of the Week and seven-time Big Ten Freshman of the Week, tallied a team-high 5.7 rebounds per contest and ranked second on the team with 5.0 assists per game. He posted the fourth triple-double in program history, the first by a freshman and first against a Big Ten opponent with 23 points, 11 boards and a career-high 11 assists at Rutgers on Feb. 8.
The Buckeyes concluded the 2014-15 campaign with a 24-11 record and advanced to the third round of the NCAA Tournament.