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Maryland men’s basketball’s Fatts Russell, Eric Ayala receive Big Ten honors

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The backcourt duo was recognized by the conference.

Courtesy of Maryland Athletics
UMTerps

With Maryland men’s basketball set to face Michigan State in the Big Ten tournament on Thursday, Eric Ayala and Fatts Russell earned season honors from the conference Tuesday afternoon.

Graduate guard Fatts Russell was named an honorable mention by both the coaches and the media.

Russell leads the team in scoring averaging 14.9 points per game and has a team-high 3.6 assists per matchup. The graduate guard has made a specific impact in this latest stretch of games. Russell has scored over 20 points eight times this season, with five of those occurrences happening in the last eight games.

His 14.9 points per game rank 13th in the Big Ten while his assists per game rank 12th in the conference. The Philadelphia native’s assist-to-turnover ratio also ranks in the top-20 in the Big Ten at 1.4.

Russell also has one of the strongest free throw percentages in the conference at .789. That clip falls at No. 5 in the Big Ten behind Wisconsin’s Brad Davison, Nebraska’s Bryce McGowens, Michigan’s Hunter Dickinson and Rutgers’ Ron Harper Jr.

This season, Russell broke the 2,000-point mark as well as recorded 500 steals. He’s the only active player in Division I men’s basketball to post those stats as well as 250 steals. His 1.3 steals per game rank No. 8 in the conference and second on the team behind Hart’s 1.5 per game.

Senior guard Eric Ayala was also named an honorable mention by only the media.

Behind Russell in scoring is Ayala. He averaged just .3 points fewer than Russell at 14.6 points per game with two fewer games under his belt.

Ayala also currently has 216 career 3-pointers, 72 of those coming during the 2022 season, placing him at No. 3 in the program’s record books. The only two players to have more successful shots from behind the arc are Juan Dixon who tallied 230 through 141 games and Grevis Vazquez who had 230 through 136 games.

The senior guard’s 2.4 3-point field goals per game rank seventh in the conference. Of the players who started in more than one game this season, Ayala has the team’s strongest 3-point percentage at .346.

Against Northwestern in January, Ayala also posted his first collegiate double-double performance with a career-high 26 points and 11 rebounds in the double-overtime victory.