If you don’t know the story of LaQuinton Ross, he’s one of the most intriguing players in the country.
The 6-foot-8 forward was once considered the best basketball player in his class, considered by many to be a future NBA all-star and a sure-fire lottery pick one day. But as his high school career continued, he slowly but surely dropped in the recruiting rankings before eventually ending up at Ohio State as an afterthought in their 2012 recruiting class.
Academic issues forced Ross to sit out the first semester, and since Thad Matta’s rotation had already been established, he played little more than garbage time throughout much of the season.
It would have been enough to get a lot of kids in this day and age to transfer, but Ross wasn’t going anywhere. He decided to stick it out at Ohio State, and Matta decided to stick it out with Ross even when he didn’t play well early in the season, and it paid off for both parties. Ross had his coming out party in the NCAA tournament, scoring 53 points in Ohio State’s last three games and hitting the game-winning three against Arizona, reminding the nation just how talented he can be.
And while he renewed interest from NBA scouts, Ross appears to be leaning towards returning to school.
“I’m coming back (to Ohio State) next year,” Ross said. “Right now, I really haven’t thought about next season. I really haven’t thought about that. I’ve only been focused on this year.”
If he does end up returning, Ross will find his way onto quite a few breakout star lists.
One of the top points guards in the Class of 2017 has trimmed his list of potential collegiate destinations to six.
Trae Young, a consensus top-25 recruit, listed Texas Tech, Kansas, Oklahoma, Washington, Oklahoma State and Kentucky as the schools he is considering as he readies to begin his senior year of high school.
The list of the 6-foot-2 point guard is largely provincial as it includes Oklahoma, whose campus is just minutes away from Young’s Norman North High School, and fellow in-state school Oklahoma. Another pair of Big 12 schools make the list in powerhouse Kansas and the Red Raiders, whose first-year coach, Chris Beard, has spent the bulk of his career working in Texas. Texas Tech is also Young’s father’s alma mater. Washington has been on a role sending its players to the pros and recently received the commitment of top-five 2017 recruit Michael Porter, Jr.
Kentucky, of course, needs no explanation as to its attractiveness to high-level players.
Clemson will get a four-star recruit on campus a year earlier than it expected, though his on-court debut for the Tigers will remain on schedule.
A.J. Oliver, a guard from South Carolina, will enroll early at Clemson and redshirt this upcoming season, he announced via social media Wednesday.
“I woke up this morning and realized that the greatest opportunity for me is to enroll early into Clemson,” he wrote on Twitter. “I will redshirt a year & start my college career early.”
Oliver, whose mother is the head women’s basketball coach at Clemson, was a consensus top-100 player in the class of 2017 who committed to the Tigers last December. Texas Tech and the College of Charleston were involved before his commitment.
A three-star shooting guard, Scott Spencer of Virginia, was previously the only member coach Brad Brownell’s 2016 class. While Oliver’s decision to redshirt will keep him off the court for the 2016-17 season, he’ll have spent a full season in the Tiger program before making his debut in 2017
The cupboard isn’t bare in 2017 for the Tigers due to Oliver’s reclassification because Clemson received a commitment from power forward Malik Williams, a consensus top-150 player, earlier Wednesday.
Kentucky used Calipari-Chaney fight in media training
Kentucky held some media training sessions yesterday, and one of the topics that head coach John Calipari used to make a point was … his blow-up with John Chaney. The moment was captured on SnapChat by a trio of Kentucky newcomers.
You remember that incident. Chaney, then the head coach at Temple, and Cal, who was coaching Atlantic 10 rival UMass at the time, nearly came to blows over the way that Cal handled officials during the game. Before the video below picks up, the two shared this exchange:
“Could I say this to you, please?” Chaney said, before the video above picks up. “You’ve got a good ball club. But what you did with the officials out there is wrong, and I don’t want to be a party to that. You understand?”
Cal responded: “You weren’t out there, Coach. You don’t have any idea.”
Chaney fired back: “You got a game given to you by officials right here with G.W. on three bad calls, O.K.? Then you send your kids out there pushing and shoving. You had the best officiating you could ever get here. And for you to ride them, I don’t want to be a party to that.”