cedric russel

After a stellar weekend in San Marcos against Texas State, Ragin’ Cajuns guard Cedric Russell earned Sun Belt Conference Men’s Basketball Player of the Week.

Russell, the leading scorer for the Cajuns, averaged 22 points per game and four boards in the weekend sweep at Texas State, propelling the Ragin’ Cajuns to first place in the Sun Belt Conference.

“It’s an honor to be named Conference Player of the Week, but the job isn’t over yet. We have much more we want to accomplish this season as a team,” Russell said .

The senior from Alexandria hit nine three-pointers over the weekend, including a season-high six in Saturday’s 74-73 win. Russell’s three ball has been lethal this season as he is averaging nearly 40% from beyond the arc.

When asked what he has done differently this season, Russell said, “I’m leaving it all on the floor this season. I don’t want to look back on my senior season with any regret. I feel like my mental toughness and aggressiveness is what has grown a lot since last season.”

The two-game series in San Marcos is just a small portion of what Russell has achieved this season for the Cajuns as he has seemingly improved in almost every statistical category. His points per game jumped from 14.4 points per game last season to 18 points per game this season. Not to mention he has upped his three-point percentage nearly 6% from last season to now.

Being the leader on this Cajun roster, Russell demands the ball in crunch time moments, something he has challenged himself to do since he was in the fourth grade.

“I think I have always wanted the rock in my hands during those crucial moments,” Russell said, when asked about his clutch buckets down the stretch at Texas State. “It’s something that I’ve worked on my whole life. I’ve put in the work.”

Russell continues to climb up the Ragin’ Cajun leaderboards as he eclipsed the 1,000 point mark this season as well as moved into 29th place on the school’s all-time scoring list. Russell also sits at third in school history with 238 career three-pointers made.

Being first in the conference, the Cajuns continue to dominate their opponent’s night in and night out as they are currently riding a five-game win streak heading up to Jonesboro against Arkansas State. The depth of this year’s roster is what continues to play a pivotal role in each game as the Cajuns can seemingly go nine deep every night with production from the bench being a major asset.

“It feels good to have a deep roster,” Russell said. “The roster change from last year to this year is crazy. Devin (Butts) off the bench is huge. He’s a three-level scorer and gives us great minutes. Theo (Akwuba) is one of a kind,” chuckled Russell. “He contests every shot and is huge in the paint. Jacobi’s leadership is big too for us.”

 With less than a month to go until the conference tournament, all eyes will be on Cedric Russell to close the season as the Cajuns look to make a tournament run, something they have not achieved since 2014.

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