The LaQuinton Ross Tipping Point – Are We Nearing It?

By Kyle Rowland on February 1, 2013 at 10:00a
62 Comments

Nearly two years into a career that was supposed to bring instant returns, LaQuinton Ross remains an enigma. The sharpshooting Mississippian was tabbed as Ohio State’s ‘next big thing,’ but an academic snafu all but ended his freshman season. Entering his second year, Ross was penciled in as Ohio State’s secondary scoring threat and mentioned among the nation’s top surprise players. 

Intensity and effort at both ends of the court. 

Instead, those lofty forecasts went the way of the phony weatherman. Ross is averaging 7.8 points and 3.2 rebounds in 17.1 minutes per game. Playing time and production has been sporadic. In high-profile games against Duke (11 minutes), Kansas (nine), Illinois (15), Michigan (three) and Michigan State (11), Ross played a combined 49 minutes, well under his season average.

Ohio State lost four of those five contests, as Ross shot 28.5 percent (6-21) from the field, including 2-of-10 from three-point range, and finished with just six rebounds and seven turnovers. In the three games following the Buckeyes’ defeat in East Lansing, Ross has played more than 18 minutes per game and is shooting at a 50 percent clip.

Over the past 16 months, few, if any, would blame Ross for complaining. He played a grand total of 31 minutes in Big Ten games and did not appear in the NCAA Tournament last season. But he hasn’t been a dividing force inside a rock-solid locker room.

“It’s not just about scoring,” said Ross, after tallying eight points Tuesday in a win over Wisconsin. “You have to do stuff on the other end. That’s what this team is known for.”

It’s been a hallmark of Matta’s teams, and one year after not only being devoid of points but also minutes, Ross now values the less glamorous aspects of the game and the intangibles.

“For me as a player, the biggest area I have grown in is listening,” he said. “Last year, I was rebellious and it really hurt me. I wasn’t playing so I was like, ‘You can’t tell me nothing.’ It’s not all about scoring. I do what I can for my teammates.”

A change in attitude, philosophy and outlook has been the catalyst in Ross’ transformation. On a team that is expected to practice with an in-game intensity, he’s held up his end of the bargain.

“Starting out the season, I thought he was really making strides, and then he took a little step back,” Matta said. “But he's bounced back and I like the way he's playing right now.”

Still, Matta’s trust level with Ross is nowhere near what veteran players experience. Mistakes on offense and defense continue to plague Ross all too often. But in the past he’d find a warm seat on the bench. Now Matta is allowing him to learn on the fly.

The urge to yell at LaQuinton Ross has lessened.

Twenty minutes against Wisconsin produced eight points on only four shots and a golden goose in the all-important turnover category. Perhaps most important was Matta’s belief that Ross was capable of handling the meaningful minutes late in the game with Ohio State clinging to a lead.

“Him coming off the bench, hitting big shots, it’s another piece to the puzzle,” said Deshaun Thomas, the Big Ten’s leading scorer. “It helps the team a lot by him coming in and producing.”

Ross’ psyche is also uplifted.

“It helps his confidence from the standpoint of being in there in critical junctions of the game,” Matta said.

Ross connected on a 3 during a decisive 15-0 second-half run and even had a steal. Long known as a defensive liability, Ross helped frustrate Ryan Evans, causing a 40-minute episode of The Twilight Zone in which Evans finished 1-of-10 from the field with three turnovers.

Ohio State may not solve its scoring riddle this season, but the Buckeyes’ demise may have been greatly exaggerated. Spreading the scoring around as opposed to having two primary scorers has proven to be effective and efficient in recent weeks. However, back-to-back games against No. 1 Michigan and No. 3 Indiana will require a Brinks truck defense.

“Our team is versatile, so we have the option to have more players play,” Ross said.

Never was a winning defense more prominently displayed than Tuesday against the Badgers. Wisconsin forced up 28 three-pointers, converting 11, while making a dismal eight total shots from inside the arc. All told, Wisconsin shot 36.5 percent.

Even more impressive, Ohio State only committed 12 fouls, none of them shooting fouls. The Badgers shot zero free throws. It’s that type of defense, with Ross contributing, that wins three consecutive Big Ten championships.

“They’re long and athletic and they work extremely hard,” Wisconsin forward Mike Bruesewitz said. “That's a pretty tough combination.”

As evidenced by the blemishes in the right-hand column and the accompanying box scores, Ross’ playing time is a pretty good indicator on the game’s result. Along with Shannon Scott, another non-starter, the Buckeyes tend to be a smoother bunch when those two are on the court. And unlike the previous eight seasons, Matta has been more inclined to use his bench.

But for all the positives, there are still shortcomings with Ross that can be striking. It’s not unusual to see point guard Aaron Craft get frustrated with Ross on offense and walk him through a play during a stoppage after Ross’ cluelessness, while boneheaded defensive play could almost be considered a ritual.

“In essence, Q’s a freshman,” Matta said. “He needs to focus on all of the little aspects of the game, and to his credit he has done that recently and been very tuned-in in practice and in games.”

Slowly, the complicated LaQuinton Ross is being simplified, with March minutes awaiting a talent born to shine amongst the Madness.

62 Comments

Comments

BuckeyeFreak4844's picture

Uggg he is very very very frustrating at times, and brillant at times i hope that he hits his stride sooner then later because this team desperatly needs another scorer.

Michigan Sucks!

Enzo's picture

I'd rather watch LQ make bone headed mistakes that he can learn from than watch Amir constantly fumble away the ball 2 feet from the hoop. I would never let him hold a newborn.

Squirrel Master's picture

There is no doubt that Amir has made more progress than Ross has. Amir was way worst last year.
Plus Amir is very much needed, so this team needs to let him learn on the fly. If Ross struggles, there are other options.
Plus I don't know about you but an inside game with a post up center would be SO much better to have than another outside shooter. Watching Amir grow has been more interesting to me than watching Ross miss a defensive assignment and/or take an ill timed shot with a hand in his face. Ross has also looked just as ugly as Amir, many many times this season.
 

I saw a UFO once.......it told me to have a goodyear!

rgarrett22's picture

Plus I don't know about you but an inside game with a post up center would be SO much better to have than another outside shooter.

What team are you watching? What outside shooters do you speak of? We don't have anyone other than DT who reliably knocks down outside shots.

And I seriously think Amir has regressed this year from what he was showing in March last year. He rebounded better and seemed more confident at the end of last season.

IMO, Ross has shown far more flashes this year of future greatness than Amir. It's not even close.

 

Squirrel Master's picture

WHAT DID YOU SEE FROM AMIR LAST YEAR? He didn't play at all! How can you say he regressed from last year when he is starting now and didn't even get barely into the lineup last year. You really should go back and watch some tape man!
Just my point, there is DT. At least there is a shooter to shoot. Is there a post up center on this team OUTSIDE of Amir? Can't have a court of shooters and not post play. The defense will stick to the 3 point line not worrying about a post up. Don't you realize, the best thing for outside shooting to get better is to have a post to draw a defense in? Without a post, there is no reason for a defense to not come out and double the ball. They don't have to worry about leaving their guy!
There are shooters on this team outside of Q and DT. They just aren't consistent and guess what, I haven't seen consistent shooting from Q either. His average is not stellar and he has not proven that he is capable of carrying the scoring load, so how is that more important than a post player?
and FYI, Amir is starting. Ross is not. How can you say Ross has shown more than Amir has? Amir practically kept Wisky out of the post with his defense. His shot blocking has done more for this team than any streaky shooting Ross has done.
IMO, its not even close that Amir has become more valuable to this team than anything Ross can provide. Thomas is the scoring threat of this team, not Ross. So what does he bring that is special that Thomas can't do? Who can do what Amir can? No one!

I saw a UFO once.......it told me to have a goodyear!

rgarrett22's picture

I watched the Bucks all year last year. I am aware that Amir didn't log many minutes except for blowouts and foul trouble for the other bigs. But when that was the case, he played very well for a frosh. He logged some good minutes against Cuse in the Elite 8 and IMO showed more during that one game than he has for this entire season.

Is there a post up center on this team outside of Amir? Nope because there isn't an effective post up center on the entire team. Period. If Amir was a post up center, then why isn't he getting good enough post position to ever receive the ball in the post? He's not assertive in any aspect of the game except for blocking shots--I give him his due in that regard.

I didn't say Q's shooting has been consistent but he sure as heck has had better stretches of encouraging play than Amir. Read my post(s)...nowhere did I say Ross was ready to "carry the scoring load."  All I'm saying is that he has shown some very encourgaging flashes of talent in multiple games this year.

FYI, I am well aware that Amir is starting and Ross is not. But that hardly proves anything. Amir is starting because the center position is paper-thin and Ross is coming off the bench because we have some actual talent on the wing (Thompson, Lenzelle, DT).

Ross hasn't blown me away either, and I'm not saying he has been "special" at all.  But I definitely believe that he has given Buckeye Nation a lot more reason for future development and the possbility of becoming an impact player than anything Amir has shown us thus far.

Squirrel Master's picture

You are basing your arguement that Amir was better last year from his 9 minutes against Syracuse? I admit he did have a great stretch but that was not better play. You should watch him play more this year. Just watch him more because he does so much more than what you think he does. Just because he isn't an offensive stud doesn't mean he isn't contributing so much more. If he was playing so badly, Thad would have no problem playing Ravenel at center like he did last year. So why is Amir starting then? It is not because there is no other center. It is because there is no other center that does what he does on defense.
I never said you said Ross can carry the load. You said there are no other shooters outside of him and DT. I said a second shooter isn't as important as a starting center, so the continued development of Amir is so much more important. So for Ross to be more impressive and more important than Amir, he would have to "carry the offensive load". and he is not. Amir is "CARRYING THE DEFENSE IN THE POST"! You should look for that. Wisky shot more than 50% of their shots from outside the 3, which is more than they have done ALL YEAR. Even more than against Indiana! and not 1 free throw.
Amir has gotten better with his offensive post play too. He does catch the ball better in the post. He does work with Craft better on the pick and roll (have you noticed that Craft has been driving a lot more these last few games). Amir has been much better at catching in the post, the offense just hasn't been getting the ball downlow very well. Even when DT gets into the post, the offense has been more inclined to swing it around the key than give him the ball. Wisky was different but still, its not entirely Amir's fault he is not getting the ball in the post. He has been doing very well of setting others up though. His picks have helped free up DT and even Ross along the baseline.
Again, I am not saying Amir is playing like an all american. I am saying as opposed to last year, he is much different and is getting better.
and you better hope Amir does keep getting better. Ross does have competition in Sam, Smith, Amadeo and the incoming Marc Loving. So far, I don't see a center coming anytime soon that will be able to come close to Amir. Because the 2 final four that Thad has been to have been because of Sully and Greg Oden. Wings have not done it!

I saw a UFO once.......it told me to have a goodyear!

bhartman13's picture

I still think Amir's best game at tOSU was in the Elite 8 against Cuse where he was forced into the rotation because of foul trouble and played the middle like a man.  He was getting boards and altering shots at a high level.  I haven't seen too much of that this year but there have been flashes.  Still not enough and not what I was expecting from someone with his size.  He has time to grow into a force but it won't be this year.

rgarrett22's picture

Agreed, BHartman13. That was definitely the game that made me think Amir was going to be the next great big man for tOSU. I'm just not so sure, anymore. He hasn't played like that again since the Cuse game.

Squirrel Master's picture

Tuesday against Wisky was Amir's best game! What are you talking about? He altered more shots in the first half than he got credit for. He had a hand on an offensive board for 5 plays straight. 3 of which ended up as offensive boards for the team. He single handedly kept Berggren from scoring in the post. Berggren isn't only a 3 pt shooter but that is all he took. 5 of his 9 shots were from 3pt. that is unheard of from a true center.
What has Ross shown? He can shoot but he hasn't done enough to warrant even replacing Smith Jr. who has been the biggest disappointment this season by far.
You guys need to watch Amir more. He does more for this team that has nothing to do with stats than you realize. Without him, this team has no post player at all. Ravenel is not a post player and McDonald would get eaten alive.
 

I saw a UFO once.......it told me to have a goodyear!

bhartman13's picture

Amir was good on Tuesday but still lost too many rebounds or passes because of his stone hands.  I make sure to pay attention to what he is doing because if he ever figures it all out then watch out because there aren't many guys that big who have ability to disrupt the opposing teams offense.  I still think the Cuse game was his best performance ever and was a big reason the Buckeyes made the Final Four.

Squirrel Master's picture

You are saying the 9 minutes against Syracuse (who did not have Fab Melo BTW) was the BIG reason they went to the Final Four? ARE YOU SERIOUS?
that's it, I'm done! I can't argue against that nonsense!

I saw a UFO once.......it told me to have a goodyear!

bhartman13's picture

Ok no Fab Melo was a big deal but without Amir's help off the bench it could have been a disaster.  Most of the time last year when Sully was in foul trouble it would derail the Buckeyes but whatever you are just angry and in love with Amir who is an average player.

OldColumbusTown's picture

I'd actually disagree and say that Ravenel is a better post defender than Williams, but Williams is obviously much more of a shot-blocking threat than Ravs.  Williams tends to get beaten pretty easily on the block by anyone with much of a post repitoire, mostly because I think Amir is looking to block the shot rather than prevent post position, drop step, etc.  Derrick Nix basically did whatever he wanted down low, as well as Plumlee, Withey, etc.  Berggren is a typical Wisconsin big - doesn't have a bunch of ability in the post, but is a good to very good jump shooter.  In his last five games, almost half of his FG attempts have been from behind the arc.
I think Amir is definitely showing progress, but it's still a little too few and far between for my taste.  He's improving greatly on the glass this year (minus the Iowa game), but he still needs to be a little more fundamentally sound on defense, and he's got to develop some sort of a low post presence.  He has shown zero, and I mean zero, post ability so far this year.  Anytime he's actually received a past in the post, his footwork is awkward, his release is bad, his positioning is not good enough, and we could go on and on here.  He has the size and supposed talent to be able to do some good things with the ball.  It's time for him to show those things.
Ross has shown the talent and flashes of ability to be a dynamic scorer for this team.  He has a variety of shot fakes, spin moves, up and under, etc. that he has revealed.  He can do things with the ball in his hands that very few, if any, other Buckeyes can.  His problem is inconsistency, and sometimes a loose handle/lack of focus with the ball.  But, I'd say it is very evident he has an innate ability to score around the basket.
BOTH will be essential pieces if this OSU team wants to do anything relevant in the postseason.  The Bucks need a post presence, and they need another dynamic shooter/scorer to step up.  Attention to detail is the immediate need for these two players, on both ends of the court.

Squirrel Master's picture

I've seen Ross actually look down as he dribbled the ball to make sure he didn't lose the handle. I don't think that is dynamic. The kid can shoot but his ball handling skills and court awareness is awful. He was even blocked on a 3 by a lesser player (at least what we believe talentwise).

Derrick Nix basically did whatever he wanted down low

1-4 with 8 points is doing whatever you want? Damn, I must have missed something. Nix went beastmode on Amir!
Withey didn't have a great game against Amir at all, 14 and 10 with 5-12 shooting. That was a game that was mostly cold shooting. Plumlee had a great game but Kelly helped him out a lot in that game (when Kelly went out with foul trouble, Amir did fine against Mason). Amir did have 10 rebounds and 1 block in that game, which is the only double digit rebounding game he has had his OSU career. That has to be considered at least better than the 9 minutes he played last year against Syracuse without Fab Melo.
He has shown some post ability this year. He has been able to score when given the ball in the right place. He isn't great at it, but does that mean he isn't better at defense which has been mostly what I have argued here. He has shown many signs of progress because I know that he wouldn't even be starting if he still played like last year. His defense is much much better and he does alot more on offense than catch the ball in the post.

I saw a UFO once.......it told me to have a goodyear!

OldColumbusTown's picture

Points, in the end, is not always what matters.  Nix beat Amir several times, in a row, to his right shoulder (which is the only effective place he can go offensively).  He scored once, and got fouled several other times because Amir was out of position or did not realize what Nix intended on doing with the ball.  Either way, it is semantics on my part.  You are correct that Nix did not do anything he wanted.  I worded that poorly, mostly because of the weight of my frustration those first 5-7 minutes of the MSU game when Amir was seemingly getting beaten each and every time down.
Don't get me wrong, I completely agree he has progressed this year versus last year.  He was mostly a big, warm body last season.  He's shown signs of life this year, that is for sure.  However, when he averages only 2 field goal attempts per game as the primary post player on this team, something is wrong.  He's not working for position on the block, and anymore the guards aren't even hardly looking to pass the ball in to him.
As I said, he HAS to begin to show some aggressiveness offensively and step up to the table if this team wants to go anywhere.  Ravenel is not a post player on the offensive end, but Amir's complete lack of existence offensively is almost forcing Thad to play Ravs when scoring is necessary.  Just another reason why Ross's progress is needed as well, to be another threat on the offensive end.

Squirrel Master's picture

Guards aren't throwing the ball into no one. Thomas barely gets the ball in the post. Wisky was the first time Thomas got the ball down low and he is actually very good in the post with his lefthanded hook shot. Thomas constantly tries to post up his man to get the ball, yet the guards are more interested in swinging the ball around the key. Only way Thomas gets the ball most of the time is off of screens, typically set by Amir FYI.
That tells me it is less about Amir's growth as a post pressence on offense and more about the offense itself.
Some of the best play over the last couple of games have come from Thomas working the high low with either Ross or Craft. when they are able to do that, they score so much more easier. Amir has been able to provide that if/when he gets that opportunity. In the last 2 games Amir has gotten the ball in the post and either missed the shot (he still is horrible at shooting) or been fouled. I think alot of people look at how many shots he takes as opposed to times he is given the ball. He gets fouled a lot when he does get the ball down low because he is awful at his free throws. Bad shooting is a far cry from last year when he couldn't even catch the ball.
but back to defense, he does get caught either covering his man too tight or leaving too early. That again is far from before where he had no idea where to be. The post isn't great but it is getting better as is the outside shooting and everything else. This mid season rough play always happens this time of year and everyone looks horrible when it does. Last year Sully couldn't run down the court half the time. All these players aren't great at what they do. Thomas drives me insane when he gets lazy!

I saw a UFO once.......it told me to have a goodyear!

tennbuckeye19's picture

True. This team, perhaps more than anything, needs an inside game with a good post-up center. I have faith in Amir that he can develop into the type of post presence OSU needs.
It would also be nice to have an automatic 3 point specialist a la John Diebler. 

thatlillefty's picture

Now if Amir Williams would show some strides...

Squirrel Master's picture

uh, he has. Very much so. Big difference from last year and even earlier this year. He just still has a long way to go.
All I will say is if Amir makes the same strides next year as he did last year, I will be very excited.

I saw a UFO once.......it told me to have a goodyear!

rgarrett22's picture

All I will say is if Amir makes the same strides next year as he did last year, I will be very excited.

And I say if Amir makes the same strides next year as he has this year, then he will have progressed from completely confounding to mostly confounding. Hooray!

Squirrel Master's picture

You don't know anything about basketball. You really should watch him play last year and watch him this year. big difference. Just because you expected a superstar doesn't mean he hasn't gotten a TON better.

I saw a UFO once.......it told me to have a goodyear!

rgarrett22's picture

Okay, so now we are going to personally attack each other. Thanks, man. For the record, I didn't expect a superstar. I had/have realistic expectations.  You have proven on multiple posts to be a MAJOR Amir Williams backer. That's cool. Just don't knock me from having a very different opinion than you. We have both have watched the same games--last year and this year. You think he's gotten a TON better (what exactly do you base that off of seeing as you earlier claimed that he didn't play at all last year) and I think he has regressed a little bit. To each his own.

Squirrel Master's picture

Well I can point to stats as the improvement last year but I am not arguing stats. I could point to him starting this year but starting doesn't mean everything.
How about the fact that he is the only defensive post on this team this year but last year he couldn't stop anyone? How about the fact that he couldn't catch a ball in the post AT ALL last year but this year he has been able to do it much much better? Last year, every pass into him was a complete turnover. He couldn't catch ANYTHING last year. All his points came off of putbacks or dunks. This year, he has put up bank shots in the post, has rolled after a pick for a pass. Those things did not happen last year, this year they do.
I am pro EVERYONE on this team. I will argue that Craft is a better shooter than most think. I will argue that Sam Thompson has become the all around player that Ross will never be. I will argue that Smith Jr. is underrated as a defensive specialist and a very very good offensive rebounder. Ravenel probably has the best long range 2 than everyone other than DT, even Ross.
I also believe Scott is so much better at the point than Craft is but he just won't stop playing Hero Ball. Once he does, he will be a top ten PG.
and yes, you don't know basketball because you keep thinking about what a player can do with the ball and not what he can do to help the team. If you didn't, then we wouldn't be having this conversation.

I saw a UFO once.......it told me to have a goodyear!

Jack Fu's picture

Ravenel is a much better post defender than Williams. Amir's primary contribution is blocked shots, and a big reason he blocks as many shots as he does is that his positioning, footwork, and awareness are so poor that he often allows his man to catch the ball at or near the basket. This leads to some blocked shots but it also leads to layups and fouls. Plus he's a ball-watcher who never boxes out. Last week Iowa missed forty shots (40!), and Williams rebounded none of them. That's unacceptable from a big guy. For the season, his DRB% is 13.6%, which is way behind Ravenel (19.3%), and also behind Thomas, Smith, and even Ross.
That's to say nothing of his offensive game, which is, at this point, obviously sub-optimal.

rgarrett22's picture

Well I guess I'm not the only one who knows nothng about basketball (sarcasm)

Jack Fu's picture

Eh, we're just people disagreeing. About basketball. On the internet. It's not a big deal.

Squirrel Master's picture

You know less than Thad Matta and last I checked, he thinks very highly of the kid and actually moved him from the bench to starter....WOW!!!!!
I guess you guys are right and Thad Matta and I are wrong. (sarcasm font works better than just saying it).

I saw a UFO once.......it told me to have a goodyear!

bhartman13's picture

I'm a believer that Amir is better than Rav and should be starting.  I have a lot of faith in Matta and loved the move to bring Rav off the bench.  But for you to say that since Matta did this makes it right doesn't make that much sense since Amir continues to not do all that much on a consistent basis.  Both Amir and Rav are average players but at least Amir has room to grow considering he is a Soph.  I understand you believe your argument but you can't be upset when other people are not agreeing with you.

Squirrel Master's picture

I'm not upset, I just think you are not watching the games and just looking at stats. You are not seeing that a player who could do nothing but block a shot is actually doing more than that. What you are seeing is a guy who can't make a shot, what I see is a guy who last year couldn't catch the ball but now catches the ball but still struggles to make the shot or gets fouled.
I understand you think you are right but you are not when you say he regressed from last year and "continues to not do all that much". He is doing more than you know, you just expect more.

I saw a UFO once.......it told me to have a goodyear!

bhartman13's picture

I never said he got worse this year but just thought his game against Cuse was his best to date because he actually played like a man.  I watch every minute of every game and know quite a bit about basketball.  I believe the tools are there for Amir, especially on defense.  I also believe he is basically an average big that is not utilizing his size and talent.  If and when it clicks for him I think he has the potential to be a game changer and even offensively can average 10 points a game, but the progress sure is very slow.

Squirrel Master's picture

got worse, regressed, you said it!

And I seriously think Amir has regressed this year from what he was showing in March last year. He rebounded better and seemed more confident at the end of last season.

anyways, keep wishing Amir will stand up to your standards. I am enjoying watching the kid grow and learn and also seeing Craft mentor him. I've seen more progress in him than most I guess. Maybe I thought he had a lot more to learn last year than you did and he actually seems to be progressing to me. I can't help but think positively about a player instead of putting my expectations on him.
 

I saw a UFO once.......it told me to have a goodyear!

bhartman13's picture

I don't remember typing that or thinking that about Amir and I can't find those sentences in any of my comments on this thread.  I'm not an Amir basher but expect more from him because I know the talent is there but it's a very slow process.

Squirrel Master's picture

Amir is the best defensive post player on the team no matter what your stats say. I can point out that Amir leads the team in offensive rebounds but I'm not going to say he is better at offense than Thomas! Come on!
It is obvious that Amir makes a difference in the post. You just don't think it is enough. Fine. Just don't say he is getting worst when he obviously is not. He is better than he was last year and he will continue to get better. Those missed layups, are Thomas's man. Amir rarely gets beat by his man straight up. I have seen that a lot. Don't let Thomas's lack of defensive pressence cloud your judgement. Amir is doing work. Fouls? Amir got into foul trouble ONCE! Against Kansas. He hasn't had more than 3 fouls except 3 games total so I know he isn't fouling people.
I will never say Amir is a star and the best player on this team, but to say he is getting worst is flat out inaccurate.

I saw a UFO once.......it told me to have a goodyear!

Jack Fu's picture

I can't speak for the other posters, but I'm not saying he's getting "worst." I'm just saying I don't think he's very good right now.
And in spite of the fact that Williams starts the games, Ravenel plays more minutes. So I'm not sure that the two sides of this debate are "you and Thad" against "the rest of us."

Squirrel Master's picture

Well then you jumped into a conversation where others are saying he has regressed. Should have read the whole conversation.
Thad made the move to start him. Thad obviously must feel he is getting better and the team is better with him on the floor from the beginning.
So yes, I agree with Thad that he is getting better. "the rest of you" seem to think differently.

I saw a UFO once.......it told me to have a goodyear!

d5k's picture

I think the people clamoring for more minutes for Ross and the people who think he hasn't done enough to deserve those minutes just both need to be patient.  He's making strides and I think he really gets it now.  The half-year of ineligibility led to a half-year of understandable pouting at the end of the bench.  Now he is basically a (RS) freshman competing on a team of sophomores and juniors.  I think he will come along fine but it might be next year or even the following year before we see his full potential.

Jack Fu's picture

I think I agree with this. A lot of the fanbase engaged in some seriously irrational exuberance about Ross coming into the season, and in my opinion many are still engaging in wishful thinking if they think Ross is going to be a difference-maker this season. At times he scores with confidence and at times he looks like he never even picked up a basketball until last week. (And the less said about his flat-footed defense, the better.) But I'm more willing to believe there is potential there than I am with Amir, with whom I'm dangerously close to just throwing in the towel and saying "you know what, he just doesn't have it."
That being said, if we're counting on Ross in the tournament this year (as seems to be implied by the last line of this post), then ... eh, that's worrisome.

IBLEEDSCARLETANDGRAY's picture

It's been said before, this is essentially Ross' freshman season. He got scant experience and exposure last year so this is his first go-around. I do think some patience is in order. However, I agree that if he's averaging 7.8 points per game at the midway point of next season it's going to be difficult to not want to judge his play and those people will have a valid argument. He's been showing flashes of what he can do. He needs a breakout game, much like the Indiana game did for Deshaun his freshman year. It seemed the light came on for Thomas at that point. Hope LQ gets that moment.

"Sherman ran an option play right through the south" - Greatest Civil War analogy EVER.

bhartman13's picture

LaQ has to break out at some point.  With his potential on the offensive end inside and outside it is only a matter of time.  I have seen some solid progression this season but it's about time for Matta to unleash him on the B1G.  A game like Nebraska tomorrow would be a perfect time to play him 30 minutes if he is knocking down some shots.  I read a bunch on Ross last summer about how he is a NBA caliber SF and was tearing it up at summer camps against other rising stars.  With the hype coming out of high school and the fact scouts and analysts know his ability I believe the light will eventually turn on and we will see some great things from LaQ.  I know tOSU needs some offensive fire power if they are going to make any noise and I sure hope something clicks very soon so we can see both DT and Ross do work on offense.  

Ohio Guy in Jersey's picture

The idea of unleashing Q gives the impression Thad is holding him back. He's not. The only one who can unleash Q is Q. Thad can coax and cajole and even holler, but it comes down to Q. Matta doesn't have to prove himself. Q does.
Thankfully, the guy I saw against Wisconsin is more than a one-trick player. He played defense and rebounded with a previously unseen intensity. Now he has to maintain it against a team like Nebraska. I have a good feeling about him Saturday.

bhartman13's picture

Matta is holding him back by not giving him the minutes needed to make an impact and you can tell how much he looks to the bench to get approval for doing things from Thad.  You can't keep an agressive scorer on the bench so much, especially when the offense has struggled so much at times this year.  I know Ross also has something to do with this because he may not be picking up on some things and his defense isn't the best but I have seen improvement.  

oregonianbuckeye's picture

Matta has been playing him a lot more recently. While Q has certainly improved, he gives up many easy buckets (like vs. Wisc when he was talking with Craft rather than helping on the back side for the post). Matta spots him minutes to bring more scoring in, but should not have Q in the game if the other team is pressing (he turns it over a lot) or if we have a lead at the end of the game (defensive liability). For those who want an increase in minutes for Q, who should see the decline in minutes? Thompson is playing well, as is Scott. L has struggled recently, but is our second leading scorer and was solid last year. I personally think Matta is doing a nice job rotating the 8 guys, and playing the hot hand.

bhartman13's picture

I get what you are saying and agree to an extent.  I think his defense against Wisc was pretty damn good and he can be out of control at times with the ball but at the same time he is the only other player outside of Craft and Scott that I would trust to take his man one on one and get a bucket.  Right now I would give him some of Lenzelle's minutes because his offense has been non existent recently.  The only reason L is still averaging decent numbers is because of the big start to the season.  It seems like he hasn't hit a 3 in a month! I do like the rotation lately and Matta has done a nice job but Ross has the skills to do more for this team moving forward.

rgarrett22's picture

^ THIS!

Lenzelle is the most disappointiing Buckeye to me right now (Amir is hot on his heels though!). If Lenzelle didn't really help us on the boards, then I don't even think he should be seeing the floor right now. I can't remember the last time he made an outside shot and when he puts the ball on the floor he is erratic and out of control. I expected more of a jump from him this year in the absence of Sullinger and Buford.

I'd give Q some minutes at his expense. Lenzelle isn't the future, but Q very well may be.

rgarrett22's picture

As a side note, I really liked how we were getting the ball to DT in the mid post against Wisconsin. When our offense just keeps passing the ball around the perimeter for 20 seconds, it drives me crazy. I think we should continue to give DT the ball in the mid post, and we should even look to get the ball to Lenzelle in the mid post as well. His post up game is an extremely underrated aspect of his offense and maybe that would put him in a better position to succeed.

Haybucks's picture

Yeah, I thought Smith would be the X-factor or at least a sleeper this year.  He's been dissapointing to me too, but the season isn't over.

The time to stop talking is when the other person nods his head affirmatively, but says nothing. - Henry S. Haskins

 

Ohio Guy in Jersey's picture

Q has the potential. But his production has been up and down.
The rule for him and all the other players is the same - impact the game in a positive way when you're not scoring. If he does more of what he did against Wisconsin, he will play more.

Ohio Guy in Jersey's picture

Matta doesn't GIVE minutes.
Q must EARN minutes.
Tuesday was a step in the right direction. But Thad should not have been playing him more before that because his production didn't warrant it. His trend at the moment is upward and I expect his minutes to reflect that, although his "nap" today was a stupid move.

Dean's picture

Count me among those still excited about his potential.  Some of the things he does on offense are simply fantastic, and he could yet grow into a star in his remaining time here, a la Evan Turner.  The way he was penetrating in his few minutes against Duke, for instance, was something that the team has been missing and that would be very hard to stop.  In a way, it reminded me of the 2004 World Cup, when the US looked passive and intimidated, then Clint Dempsey would come on the field and go charging right at, then around, the defenders - it made them a completely different team.
 
There are plenty of screw-ups and miscues still, of course, but if he can consistently do some of the things he's shown himself to be capable of, he'll be huge.

RedStorm45's picture

Gotta show some consistency.  Still can take some forced or rushed shots.  Not great within the "system" (then again, what the heck do we run?  Give it to D.T. and watch?), more of a 1-on-1 guy which isn't great for the team.  A little weak rebounding at times.  Can look indecisive at both ends.  All that considered, he's the 2nd best scorer we have and he looked great against Wisconsin.  He has the length to play inside defensively, but enough quicks to play outside.  Kind of a matchup nightmare at both ends if he's bringing the intensity.

d5k's picture

Not sure where you think we just give it to DT and watch.  We run very little isolation.  A lot more often he is setting a ball screen or coming off of a down screen to get space.  We only isolate him in post-up situations which until last game weren't that frequent (we should do that more!).  So yea, the sets we run are most often designed to get DT the ball with a little bit of space or take what the defense gives us.  But we don't just pass it to him and let him go 1 on 1.

RedStorm45's picture

I meant we don't have set plays for anyone else.  When the shot clock runs down, more often than not it's just Craft with a high ball screen and then some horrid shot gets chucked up.  And if the other team is in zone, it's about 6 passes around the perimeter and standing around.

Ohio Guy in Jersey's picture

No team has a play for when the shot clock winds down.
If you didn't see a system in place during the Wisconsin game, you weren't watching closely.

Run_Fido_Run's picture

I'm not ready to say that the "light came on" for LaQ against Wisky. The only way that you can ever really tell that the "light came on" at some certain point is retrospectively: after showing some impressive sparks in a game, the player thenceforth exudes new confidence and plays at a consistently higher-level.
Although we don't know yet whether the "light came on" for LaQ against Wisky, I do know that it was the first time I'd ever seen LaQ virtually jumping out of the television screen. He looked like a man amongst boys during this sequence: 

Ross connected on a 3 during a decisive 15-0 second-half run and even had a steal. Long known as a defensive liability, Ross helped frustrate Ryan Evans, causing a 40-minute episode of The Twilight Zone in which Evans finished 1-of-10 from the field with three turnovers.

Some astute 11W commenters asked if LaQ's flashes against Wisky were helped by a favorable matchup: LaQ might not have the quickest feet, so playing against Wisky's slow, athletically-challenged halfcourt style fit him perfectly. I guess we'll see in coming weeks. 

d5k's picture

Yeah, I'll be looking for that vs. Indiana (I'll be in the Schott too).  Seems like Thompson and Scott would be better matchups against their athletes but Ross could surprise me.

Lawver_5's picture

I'm right there with everyone else that is excited about what Q could become if he begins to fulfill his potential. However, I completely disagree with people saying Matta needs to give him more minutes. I'm not a college coach, nor will I ever be. Thad has proven to be a great coach and I'm sure he has reasons for not giving him more playing time. I'm sure the more Q shows, the more minutes he will get

d5k's picture

I think it is just an overestimation of the amount of development that happens during the games.  I think most of the development happens in practice but playing in more games in pressure situations helps you get closer to 100% of the level you show in practice rather than having mental lapses.  So playing him more will eliminate some of the bad turnover or bad defensive switch lapses but it won't suddenly make him play at a higher level than he shows in practice.

BucksfanXC's picture

It would be great if Ross puts it all together by March, as that would mean a possible deep tourney run.
It would also be great if he could just get it together by next season.

“Any time you give a man something he doesn't earn, you cheapen him. Our kids earn what they get, and that includes respect.”  - Woody

German Buckeye's picture

I don't think anyone would argue that some of the players on this team have not played up to fans expectations (won't speak for coaches) - Smith, Williams are two in the lead. I  think Williams is more disappointing because you can't teach size, and someone 6'11 should really physically dominate, yet Williams' lack of hands, timing and sometimes desire equal games where he completely disappears.  A couple games ago he logged like 18 minutes and had ZERO rebounds, yes he had 6 blocks and thats good, but no rebounds or points?  At least Smith at 6'4 pulls down 3-4 per game.   Oden certainly didnt have good hands, but around the basket could at least dunk and slop some in offensively.  Not getting ANY of that out of Williams who is only an inch shorter. Squirrel Master going to yell at me, but its my opinion on the internets. 

Squirrel Master's picture

lol. Actually I will only argue that Oden had really good hands. Heck, he had a broken hand and shot left handed free throws even. Oden was pretty skilled on offense. He just was exponentially better on defense. Wish his knees would heal. Love to see him dominate like he did.
Amir is by far not Oden though.

I saw a UFO once.......it told me to have a goodyear!

osubuckeye4life's picture

I think we are getting closer to the point that Q "gets it".