School: Washington | Year: Sophomore | Age: 21 | Born: February 5, 1991 | Position: SG
Height: 6’7” | Weight: 197 | From: Portland, OR | Best Case Scenario: Joe Johnson
Since declaring for the draft, Terrence Ross has experienced an explosion in his draft stock due to his impressive pre-draft measurements and solid college career. Playing two seasons at SG for the Washington Huskies, Ross was seldom put in the national spotlight due to his team’s insignificance and inability to make it to the NCAA Tournament. However, Ross left his mark during the NIT averaging 25.0 PPG while earning all-tournament team honors. The best SG prospect to come out of Washington since Brandon Roy, Ross possesses prototypical size, strength, and athleticism for his position. Standing at an outrageous 6-foot-7 and nearly 200 pounds, he possesses broad shoulders and a good frame that should allow him to add increased muscle mass upon. Most recently at the 2012 NBA Combine, he impressed scouts and NBA executives with a 37.5-inch max vertical leap. At only 21 years of age, Ross has everything a team could look for athletically while staying poised on and off the basketball court.
After primarily contributing as a reserve during his freshman season, Ross enjoyed a breakout sophomore campaign in which he led the Huskies in scoring with 16.4 PPG. He found much of his success as a jump shooter, converting 37% from beyond the arc while proving to be effective at penetrating the lane and attacking the rim. From a mechanics standpoint, Ross has a solid shooting foundation and does an excellent job of maintaining a high, consistent release point. He keeps his right arm on line with the basket and his elbow tight to his chest, while demonstrating an impressive ability to knock down off-balance shots. In addition to his already high release point, Ross gets great elevation on his jump shots making it virtually impossible for opposing guards to get a hand on his shot. He is at his best when spotting up and shooting, as his game with the ball in his hands is still developing. When set up with open looks, he is an assassin stretching out to NBA three-point territory, needing very little time or space to get his shots up.
Playing off of the ball, he is very comfortable running off screens and catching and shooting off of quick passes. He does a good job of squaring his body on his shots and demonstrates excellent body control when taking off-balance shots. On the catch-and-shoot, Ross maintains a low center of gravity that allows him to quickly shift his weight while maintaining balance coming off of screens. He has an impressive knack for anticipating his teammates movements and effectively rotates to open spots in order to give his driving teammates a perimeter option to kick out to. A true SG, Ross does not need to have the ball in order to be effective on offense.
Ross’ ball handling remains his biggest question mark in his transition to the NBA, as he was not able to consistently create his own shot or drive to the rim at a tremendous rate at Washington. Although he is an explosive athlete with a good first step, his mediocre handles restrict him from blowing past defenders and getting easy looks around the basket. While he possesses great lateral quickness, he lacks the straight-lining ability that highlights the offensive games of many of the NBAs top swingmen. Ross is a very shifty player and possesses a tremendous crossover, but he needs to become much more comfortable as a dribbler in order for him to become a more dynamic scorer. Often, he tends to settle for contested jump shots when making a move on his opponent, and when attacking the rim he is not a great finisher through contact. Off the drive, Ross tends to broadcast his moves, making it easy for defenders to block his shots. He also tends to leave his feet in difficult situations, limiting his effectiveness as a scorer in the paint. As he continues to fill out his frame, Ross should improve in his ability to absorb contact and finish around the rim, but he will need to drastically improve his handles in order to prove to defenders that he has the ball-handling skills needed to escape tight defense.
While Ross is not the best in isolation, he makes up for it with his incredible ability running the floor and finishing in transition. With excellent baseline-to-baseline speed and acceleration, he explodes through the open court and is a tremendous above the rim finisher. His size and athleticism make him a viable alley-oop candidate on the advantage or when cutting backdoor in the half court offense.
Operating primarily without the ball, Ross has not demonstrated himself to be a difference maker as a passer. However, he is adequate at finding open teammates through double teams and has also proven to be a capable outlet passer in transition.
Due to his size and athleticism, Ross is a very capable and effective rebounder. He displays an excellent motor on the glass and gets good body positioning when anticipating missed shots. He rarely takes a play off and takes pride in chasing down loose ball, doing a great job of fighting for additional possessions for his team. He possesses the tools to give opposing frontcourts a hard time on the offensive and defensive glass despite manning the 2-guard position.
On the defensive end, Ross was an impact player for the Huskies during his brief two-year college tenure and displayed noticeable improvement from his freshman to sophomore seasons. His excellent combination of size and lateral quickness allow him to effectively keep his body in front of his opponent, and he is a versatile defender being able to defend both SGs and SFs. Ross is known for his physicality and bodies up his opponents well, making him a very tough object to get past. Ross has great court awareness and is an active help side defender, getting his hand in passing lanes while anticipating and picking passes. Although he has been known to take risks from time to time, he makes life tough for his opponent due to his relentless nature and ferocity as a defender
Terrence Ross will have many suitors come draft day, and could go as high as the late lottery or fall as low as the mid 20s. Although he will require improvement as a ball handler, Ross has a relatively high floor due to his ability to effectively knock down open shots while providing tough defense. If he can improve his ability to beat defenders off the dribble and finish at the rim at a relatively high rate, Ross could eventually turn into a matchup nightmare for average sized and smaller NBA SGs.
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Photo Credits: Seattlesportshell.com