2012 Basketball Preview: LaQuinton Ross

Written October 11th, 2012 by Gary Russell II

Last year LaQuinton Ross was a member of a talented freshman class.  Unfortunately, Ross only played in 9 games while playing a total of 35 minutes, primarily due to an NCAA mandated late start to his career, so we didn’t get to see much of what he may or may not be able to do on the court. However, this year will be different. With the loss of plenty of scoring and talent Ross will sure be a compliment to Deshaun Thomas.  Today we look at Ross and what he brings to the table.

Thad Matta chats with Ross.

Hometown: Jackson, Mississippi
High School: Life Center Academy
Position: Forward (3)
Year: Sophomore
Height: 6-8
Weight: 220

Before OSU:

As a four star recruit (by Scout.com), Ross was highly recruited out of high school, picking up offers from names such as Tennessee, Florida, Mississippi, and Syracuse. He was the 16th ranked player at his position, three spots behind Sam Thompson, and the 53rd ranked player in the ESPNU 150.

Last season he played sparingly for the Buckeyes, often only seeing the court late in blowout games. Those few moments we got to see were none-the-less extremely exciting. His very first shot on the floor was a three pointer attempt, and he seemed to almost play to the crowd – who were more than happy to cheer him on.

High School Film:

Usually for these we either offer high school film, or college stats. LaQuinton Ross is unusual in that you get both.

Season GP MPG PPG FG% 3FG% FT% APG RPG BPG SPG
 2011-12 9 3.9 2.0 33.3 25.0 85.7 0.1 0.4 0.0 0.0

He’s #53 in Blue, followed by #1 in White, in the following video.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=caOBv8vBoIo&version=3&hl=en_US&rel=0]

Strengths:

LaQuinton Ross is an extraordinarily talented player. He displays tremendous shooting skills at short, mid, and long ranges and can absolutely take over a game offensively. He’s capable in both the half-court offense and in transition and is incredibly athletic, displaying impressive finishes above the rim. His size gives him a unique advantage over most “3s”, and he can easily post smaller defenders. Lastly, his ball-handling in the open court is impressive, and he is a skilled passer who readily dishes to an open teammate.

Things to Work on:

As talented as Ross is, his motor is not where it should be for a division 1 athlete. He will often seem to just go through the motions for stretches of a game and not put in the constant energy and effort needed on both ends of the floor. He’s not particularly strong for a 3, and will need to increase his strength and toughness – particularly for Big Ten play. Ross also needs to work on his movement on offense without the ball, and on his perimeter defense as his lateral quickness is simply not there yet to keep up with many smaller players.

Current news out of the Schott is that he also struggles at working within the team dynamic, something that’s not terribly unusual for an extremely talented young player early in his career. Considering Matta’s basketball philosophies, however, he will need to straighten this out quickly if he wants to see extended playing time.

Role for the Team:

Ross’ role for the team is probably up for debate at this time but one thing is for sure he will get some playing time.  Matta will not play him just because he can score though.  Ross has to be committed to playing with his teammates, working hard on defense, and practicing hard at all times.  If he is unable to complete the task at hand, then most likely Matta will look to Sam Thompson to be the go-to guy for now, bringing Ross off the bench to provided a spark on offense.

You may hear many comparisons of Ross to former Buckeye Evan Turner. Given his scouting report, that should come as no surprise. Even his weaknesses, such as his motor not going 100%, are right in line with Turner when he arrived at Ohio State. That said, don’t expect Ross to be another Naismith trophy winner – that’s simply an unfair level of expectation for a young player.

Last year may not have been a memorable one for Ross, and Buckeye fans will likely forget that he rarely saw the court. At the end of the day, however, with Ohio State looking for help to replace the like of Sullinger and Buford, Ross should be an important part of this year’s team.

2012 Basketball Previews:
Sept 27th – Aaron Craft
Oct 3rd – Amedeo Della Valle
Oct 5th – Trey McDonald
Oct 7th – Evan Ravenel
Oct 9th – Alex Rogers
Oct 11th – LaQuinton Ross
Oct 16th – Shannon Scott
Oct 18th – Lenzelle Smith Jr.
Oct 23rd – DeShaun Thomas
Oct 25th – Sam Thompson
Oct 30th – Amir Williams
Nov 1st – Coaches

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