- Associated Press - Saturday, March 25, 2017

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - Tennessee center Mercedes Russell says she plans to return for her senior season.

Russell posted on her Twitter and Instagram accounts Saturday that “I just want to take the time to thank VOLnation… but I’ll be back.”

The 6-foot-6 Russell averaged 16.1 points, 9.7 rebounds and 1.4 blocks this season for Tennessee (20-12). The Lady Volunteers’ season ended Monday with a 75-64 loss to Louisville in the second round of the NCAA Tournament.

As a fourth-year junior, Russell had the option of bypassing her senior season to enter the WNBA draft. Russell, who is from Springfield, Oregon, redshirted in the 2014-15 season to recover from surgery to each of her feet.

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