Mar 24, 2014, 7:19 PM EDT
The exodus of Big Ten players to the pros continues.
This won’t make as much impact as Noah Vonleh, who will be a lottery pick, but add another draftable player to the pool.
Ohio State junior forward LaQuinton Ross will declare for the NBA Draft, sources told ESPN.
Here’s a quick comparison:
- Player A: 15.2 points on 45 percent shooting and 35 percent 3-point shooting, 5.9 rebounds, 0.8 assists, 0.7 steals and 0.6 blocks in 29.0 minutes per game
- Player B: 19.8 points on 45 percent shooting and 34 percent 3-point shooting, 5.9 rebounds, 1.3 assists, 0.5 steals and 0.3 blocks in 35.4 minutes per game
Pretty similar, right?
Player A is Ross, and player B is Deshaun Thomas. Both wings filled similar roles as Ohio State’s leading scorer who doesn’t do much else, Ross this season and Thomas last. And both turned pro after their junior years.
Thomas was drafted No. 58 by the Spurs (despite not giving them his phone number), and he’s spending this season playing in France.
Ross has a wide draft range. Strong workouts could propel him into the late first round, and poor workouts could leave him undrafted. His low steal and block rates raise questions about his athleticism, and the skill to score on college players at age 21 in itself is not a guarantee of NBA success. Thomas’ fate is probably a good baseline for Ross.
Unless Ross signs with an agent or does something else that makes him ineligible to the NCAA, he can return to Ohio State before April 16. However, had he not declared in the first place, he could have declared any time through April 27. Because the NCAA and NBA have different draft entry deadlines, players have more time to declare initially than to return to school after declaring.
So, either Ross needlessly limited his own flexibility, or he’s really serious about turning pro.
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