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2014 NBA Draft Breakdown: LaQuinton Ross - Position, Strengths, and Weaknesses

Ross made a risky call to head to the NBA. Will it work out?

Jared Wickerham

LaQuinton Ross: Draft Profile/NBA Breakdown

NBA Position: Small Forward (3)

College: Ohio State

Class: Junior

Height: 6'8"

Weight: 220

Hometown: Jackson, Mississippi

High School: Life Center Academy (New Jersey)

Ohio State junior LaQuinton Ross had a pretty tough decision to make in whether to head to the NBA or to stay for his senior season on what will be a very good team in Columbus next year. It is likely he will be drafted somewhere in the mid to late second round which means there is no guarantee of a roster spot in the NBA and he could be stuck in the D-League or head to Europe to try and make a living there. Ultimately, the decision may have come down to his need to support his daughter and he may believe he can improve his position enough in the pre-draft workouts to steal a roster spot next season. It could have also come down to the fact that it will be hard to improve his stock any further.

Strengths: Ross is a very consistent player and has shown glimpses this season of being a very special player. He scored 19 and had 15 rebounds against Purdue in the first round of the B1G Tournament and followed that up with 26 points and 13 rebounds against Nebraska. He scored in double figures in 17 of his final 19 games this season which isn't an easy thing to do in the B1G. His ability to rebound the ball at 6'8" in the NBA will be key to his success as he'll go from being one of the bigger players to just an average height. He does seem to have a nose for the basketball and that could be a key asset for him going forward.

Weaknesses: His athleticism is a key question mark in what he will be able to accomplish in the NBA. He did take the ball to the rim every once in a while at Ohio State, but hasn't shown a tremendous ability to do this. At the same time, his three point shot was only 35% this season which isn't terrible, but it isn't good either. He will need to improve his jump shot if he isn't going to be athletic enough to the get to the rim on his own at the next level. Ultimately, I think this will be why he falls into the late second round with the possibility of even going undrafted.

Overall: Ross will be trying to just land a roster spot in the NBA next year so that he can be given the chance to improve his game playing against NBA competition. There is little to no chance that Ross will ever start in the NBA, but he could find his way as a career reserve which would still provide a very good lifestyle. Honestly, a lot of comparisons could be made between Ross and prior teammate, Deshaun Thomas, who spent the year playing in France after being drafted very late in the second round by the Spurs. Ross will need to shine in the pre-draft workouts to avoid this same fate.

NBA Comparison: Best case: Devin Ebanks. Worst case: Never sees the NBA