The Ohio State basketball program is turning over a new leaf as the 2014-15 season approaches with the departures of program mainstays Aaron Craft, Lenzelle Smith Jr. and LaQuinton Ross.
However, both Craft and Ross have NBA aspirations, as was evidenced by their presence at the NBA combine in Chicago. The real question now is whether either former Buckeye has the ability necessary to stick in the professional ranks.
When it comes to Craft, we know his forte is defense from his college days. After all, he became one of the most popular players to ever step foot on the floor in Columbus among Ohio State supporters because of his ability to draw charges, harass opposing ball-handlers, force turnovers and just generally physically and mentally wear out the other team’s best guard.
The fact that he was more than willing to dive a few rows into the stands in the process only made him all the more admired in Buckeye Nation.
No perimeter player in the country impacted the game more directly on the defensive end than Craft, and that would clearly be valuable to NBA teams. However, the athleticism at the next level presents a sizable jump forward, so Craft is going to have to find a way to score as well if he wants to be a professional guard.
Scott Phillips of College Basketball Talk didn’t paint a rosy picture at the NBA combine:
It’s safe to say Craft didn’t make the type of impression he was hoping for in the shooting drills, but there were some…