Ohio State loses crucial recruit from incoming class

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Ohio State’s counting on its Top 10 recruiting class to help offset the losses of three starters from last season’s 34-3 squad. You know, standard stuff under Thad Matta.

Except LaQuinton Ross won’t be one of them.

The NCAA declared him an academic non-qualifier on Monday, making him ineligible to play. He won’t be on the roster when practices begin Oct. 14. If he remains at school, he won’t receive an athletic scholarship, can’t practice or play for a year. Two grades he received at a school in Jackson, Miss., were red-flagged.

However, the Cleveland Plain-Dealer reports he’ll leave Ohio State and try to earn the needed test scores and GPA that would make him eligible by January.

Guard Shannon Scott and post player Amir Williams are seem as more important incoming freshmen, but the Buckeyes could use Ross. The 6-8 wing would be one of the prime candidates to ease the loss of David Lighty and sharpshooter Jon Diebler, both of whom were crucial to the Buckeyes’ success. Ross is a long, rangy defender with a good shooting stroke.

That elevates sophomore DeShaun Thomas even more, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. The 6-6, 230-pound Thomas was almost as efficient of a scorer as Jared Sullinger last season, though I’d be worried about Thomas and senior William Buford hogging all the shots from the wing. Those guys rarely see a shot they don’t like.

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