LaQuntion Ross, after Ohio State’s untimely exit from the NCAA Tournament in the Round of 64, announced on Monday that he plans to forego his senior season with the Buckeyes and enter the 2014 NBA Draft, per a report from Jeff Goodman of ESPN.
Ross is projected by DraftExpress to be a second-round pick right now. Given the fact that he was never completely the alpha dog on this Ohio State team and the many unanswered questions concerning Ross, it’s relatively unsurprising that they’d have him pitted to go outside of the top 30 picks in the draft. However, Ross might be worth a little bit more than that.
In his junior campaign with the Buckeyes, Ross averaged 15.2 points, 5.9 rebounds and 0.7 steals in 29 minutes per game while shooting 44.7 percent from the floor and 35.3 percent from three. While he was the leading scorer for OSU by a wide-margin and came up big for them on a number of important occasions, it often felt like Ross wasn’t fully being utilized. There were a number of times where it felt like he wasn’t allowed to fully take over games. Perhaps it was his doing or perhaps it was part of the construct of this team’s offense; either way, it seemed like there was always a bit of untapped potential with the lengthy forward.
Ross’s measurements are clearly impressive and he undoubtedly has a ton of skill. However, he’s definitely got the label of an underachiever. Having said that, though, wouldn’t it make sense for an upper-tier team in the late first-round to take a chance on him and put a guy with that type of potential into a positive culture and environment? I believe so. Though he’s projected to go in the second-round, I think it’d be best for whatever team selects him and for Ross if a team took a late first-round flyer on him.