Jan 15, 2012; Seattle, WA, USA; Washington Huskies guard Terrence Ross (31) dribbles downcourt while being guarded by Washington State Cougars guard DaVonte Lacy (3) during the 2nd half at Alaska Airlines Arena. Washington defeated Washington State 75-65. Mandatory Credit: Steven Bisig-US PRESSWIRE

Draft Boards, Upside, And Terrence Ross

Of late there has been plenty of draft talk on Terrence Ross. According to many analysts he’s creeping up the draft boards as workouts increase and circulate about the internet. What are some of the national draft experts saying?

Mike Schmitz (@mike_schmitz) has an interesting video breakdown of Ross’ strengths and weaknesses, with the help of some audio from Coach Romar. Schmitz’s analysis, while largely favorable, does include the most oft-repeated critique of Ross’ game I’ve heard – that he needs to improve (or prove) that he can get to the rim and not simply shoot jumpers and that he has average, at best, handles.

David Daniels (@therealddaniels) who writes for Bleacher Report, has Ross slightly under the radar. But according to one NBA scout, Ross is deserving of the hype – “I’m not sure he’s not the best 2 guard on the board”.

Kurt Helin at Pro Basketball Talk has a nice profile of Ross. Helin (@probasketballtalk) lists Ross’ jumper and athleticism on the break as a couple of his strengths, which will, Helin believes, allow him to make a virtual instant impact. In addressing the common critique of Ross’ sub-NBA level handles, Helin says “he’s not got NBA handles yet but he’s the guy filling a lane in transition”.

Chad Ford, ESPN Draft Insider (@chadfordinsider), has a nice interview in which Ross discusses his own strengths and the overall draft process. When asked what kind of player he is, Ross replied an athletic scorer who plays defense. Indeed.

Of the several teams with reported interest in Ross, Brian McDonald of SB Nation Houston indicates that Ross could fill a void at the 2 and pair nicely with Chandler Parsons at the 3, particularly on the defensive end.

NBADraft.net, as of June 1st, has Ross going 10 to the New Orleans Hornets ahead of Duke’s Austin Rivers and Syracuse’s Dion Waiters. In fact, it looks like the Hornets will have Ross work out for the team soon.

My Take
I’m a huge fan of Terrence Ross as I’ve written before. In fact, it kills me to watch his highlights because I want him back with the Huskies. But, I’m working through my “issues” and articles like this are good, cheap therapy.

First and foremost, if I were an NBA GM, I’d want a 2 guard to be able to shoot the rock, which Ross does with aplomb. I’d also want him to defend the perimeter, since the NBA is replete with athletic, savvy 2 guards. Interestingly enough, in researching for this article, I only found one national writer who commented on Ross’ killer crossover, which served him so well in generating his own shot while at UW. Second, Ross has the potential to be a lock-down type defender and has already shown the ability to clog passing lanes and rebound well at his position. If I could say one thing, offer one suggestion to Ross, contrary to the critiques nationally, it would be to foster that killer instinct; that Kobe-like, give me the ball, I’m going to take this thing o-v-e-r kind of mentality. I’ve seen it before and I can’t wait to see it from Ross at the next level.

All in all, it’s nice to see some of the national media catch on to the special player that Ross is and begin to dream about what the future can hold for a player of his skill and athleticism. With the draft a few weeks away, and the combines this weekend, could we be talking about Terrence Ross the NBA lottery pick? Quite possibly.

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