In just two short seasons we have seen the entire spectrum of possibility from Ohio State swingman LaQuinton Ross.
At times he has looked like a premier NBA prospect who could see his name called early on draft day in the future, while far too often he looks lost on the court (especially on defense), experiences turnover problems and doesn’t contribute enough on the boards.
Call it inconsistency or simply not hitting his stride yet, but there is still plenty of room for Ross to grow as he enters his junior year. Where Ross falls on the spectrum that ranges from brilliance to questionable play at best will ultimately define Ohio State’s 2013-14 season, making him not only the Buckeyes’ X-factor but perhaps the biggest X-factor in the entire Big Ten race as well.
The Buckeyes struggled at times on offense last year, and that was with the conference’s top scorer in Deshaun Thomas. It is generally assumed that Ross will be Ohio State’s No. 1 option to replace that production, largely because of his overall brilliance in the NCAA tournament.
Thomas and Aaron Craft may have been the headline generators, but it was Ross who was the best player on the floor for extended stretches against Iowa State and Arizona in the NCAA tournament. He finished 6-of-10 from the field and 3-of-5 from downtown against the Cyclones and scored 17 points, including the game-winner against the Wildcats.
Heck, he was the Buckeyes’ best player in the loss to…