Rhode Island Basketball: Rams suffer big loss with Fatts Russell departure

Rhode Island Basketball star Fatts Russell will enter his name into the NCAA transfer portal via his Instagram after four seasons in the program.

He posted Wednesday, “Rhody Nation, I just want to say thank you for these last four years,” Russell said, “Championships, big-time games, big-time atmosphere with the Rhody Ruckus and the fans.”

Russell’s decision to enter his name into the NCAA transfer portal came late Wednesday night. His decision to play a fifth year elsewhere took many Rhody Rams fans by surprise.

“This was like my second home,” Russell said in his statement.

He has been an impact player in Rhode Island the last four years but, has played through several injuries as of recently. Although the star point guard has struggled throughout his senior season, he made history by becoming the all-time steals leader in Rhode Island. He also was recently named to the Atlantic 10 Third Team.

Russell played with a Rams team that won the Atlantic 10 Conference in 2018 and made an NCAA Tournament appearance under Coach Dan Hurley.

He has played through several winning seasons, injuries, and even through the transition of coaches through the years at URI.

He could be seeking an opportunity at a bigger program with more eyes and attention on him as he will pursue his dream of a chance to play professionally.

“As I look at my next step as a professional, I want to ensure I am making the best decision that will help me fulfill my dreams,” Russell said.

It will be interesting to see what happens with Coach David Cox’s Rams next season with the departure of Fatts Russell. It is unclear whether or not senior guard Jeremy Sheppard will be returning to the program for a graduate year.

The Rams will have some work to do this offseason but, we can hope that recruitment and the transfer portal will sway in the right direction for this promising team.