This is a guest post by Sean Leroy, who bleeds purple, and yells at Crimson.
I don’t know about you, but in his two short seasons with the Huskies, Terrence Ross made me all but forget about that other Terrence; at least until that other Terrence won a national championship…but I digress.
After sitting out his senior season at Jefferson High School in Northeast Portland, Ross showed flashes of brilliance as a freshman as he adjusted his game to D-1 level. His sophomore year revealed the depth of his talent, as he often carried the young Huskies offensively. There were points in the season where coach Romar called upon Ross to check the opponent’s best scorer. He did so, and in that fashion, helped his team to victory.
On Thursday, June 28, 2012, Ross will be chosen in the first round of the NBA draft by a team who will no doubt not only need and covet his services and skill set, but drool at the possibilities his athleticism brings to the NBA style of play. How does Ross project as a pro?
I, like a majority of Husky fans, wish Ross and Wroten could have stuck around for another year. Oh, what could have been?! But, when you size up Ross’ skill set, can you blame him for declaring early? No. At 6’6”-6’7” he’s a big 2 guard, and his uncanny athleticism allows him to slide down to the 3, if the situation calls for it.
Many players who declare early for the NBA draft are picked on the basis of their upside; how they project as they improve their game and adapt it to the rigors of the NBA style of play. Some haven’t developed an outside shot, for instance. Some big men may not be polished in the block offensively. Sure there are improvements Ross can make, but he’s not a project; he’s pro-ready. He has a wet jumper, as they say, and when committed, can be stellar defensively.
Recently SLAMOnline had a nice write up and a corresponding video on Ross’ workout with Impact Basketball’s LA branch. Workouts included long-time NBA vets and the audience included half a dozen NBA executives. Needless to say, Ross was impressive with his range on his jumper and skill around the basket.
So what, besides athleticism, does Ross bring to the NBA?
First, the ability to create and find his own shot. This is crucial as a 2 guard when every night you face big, long, versatile defenders. Second, the moment Ross walks onto the floor, the other team is forced to consider matchups, particularly if Ross is drafted by a team with an offensive-minded point guard. Third, I believe Ross has the ability to be a great defender, even a lock-down defender. But this is the NBA, where defense is an afterthought, right? Yes, if you’re the Golden State Warriors! But if you look down the line at the teams that will make deep playoff runs, they play defense. They have to if they want to win.
A few of the online draft boards have Ross going 17 to the Dallas Mavericks, who could be a good fit, given their style of play and the possible departure of certain key free agents, like Jason Terry (15 ppg). On the 28th of June we’ll find out where Terrence Ross lands, and the team that drafts him will find out first hand what we’ve known for some time – Ross is boss.