No Ohio State Basketball Player Taken in NBA Draft for First Time Since 2006

By DJ Byrnes on June 26, 2014 at 11:17p

Between them, they hit some of the more iconic game-winners in recent memory. In the end, however, it wasn't enough for either Aaron Craft or LaQuinton Ross to be selected in the NBA draft.

Craft had always been pegged as a fringe second-round prospect, and Ross was unable to build on an impressive 2013 tournament run as Ohio State struggled through large swaths of the season.

Thad Matta told this might be for the best:

"I think back in the day, if you would have asked me this a few years ago, I would have said, 'Get drafted, get drafted, get drafted.' But as I'm learning now, sometimes getting drafted isn't the greatest thing in terms of what is the best thing for them.

"If they're a first-round pick, that's a great thing, because they get guaranteed money. But in the second round, yeah, if Ohio State is called and Aaron Craft or LaQuinton Ross is called, I'm going to be the happiest guy in the world. But ultimately what you want, you set the ego aside, and you say, 'What is best for the kid?'"

Matta went on to name DeShaun Thomas as an example. It was cool to see him drafted by the Spurs, but he didn't make the team and now his rights belong to them. In essence, he's "stuck" there.

On the other hand, there are a lot of professional basketball leagues in the world that pay their players a lot of money. Craft said he's even willing to spend time in the NBA's Developmental League, if that's what it takes to secure another shot at the NBA.

Best of luck to both Buckeyes as they continue to chase their dreams beyond Columbus, and thanks for the memories.


Comments Show All Comments

Killer nuts's picture

Best of luck to both these guys as they keep working to fulfill their dream 

+1 HS
Ugly Hour Chazz Bear's picture

Good luck to them both, but I can't say I'm surprised by this.  I can see Ross trying to play in the D-league or going overseas, but it's just hard for me to see Craft continue to try for the NBA.  I feel like he's better off going to med school and using his brain to make a paycheck.

I like the bux.

+1 HS
BroJim's picture

Im not sure it's about making a paycheck, for Craft anyway. . .

I season my simple food with hunger

+1 HS
jaxbuckeye's picture

I couldn't disagree more. I see a guy like Ross as a dime a dozen. I see him spending his entire career overseas. 

Craft on the other hand, could find the right NBA team and have a long career coming off the bench. Guys that can shut down the ball and bring energy at crucial moments are invaluable. That's not even talking about a positive team and locker room influence. I expect a number of free agent invites for Craft. He is such a great team guy. 

Ultimatelty the problem for both is there are only 30 teams with what, 15 spots?  Not great odds.  

+1 HS
cdub4's picture

I think the opposite on Craft. I can see him continue to play basketball and try for the NBA. He doesn't seem like a quitter to me, comes across a determined and focused.

irishfury's picture

I hope my Pistons take a chance on Ross.  We need the help at SF.

UrbanBuckeye's picture

Ross sure thinks highly of himself for a guy with a lackluster work ethic. That said, I do wish him well, since he is a Buckeye, after all. Just disappointed in his decision. Don't understand why he couldn't just stay literally one more year to help OSU win a B1G championship and to get his degree. Frustrating!

Vonn Bell once asked me in class if he could borrow my pencil and he never gave it back. Ain't even mad.

+7 HS
jaxbuckeye's picture

Agree with everything you said. I think it has to do with the Euro league. It pays enough now to be a viable option. I'm guessing Ross didn't enjoy going to class. 

+2 HS
MikeTheBuckeye's picture

I have a lot of faith in both players. I may be biased but if I owned a team, both Craft and Q would be guys I would love to have. Good luck on youre future endeavors guys.

+3 HS
gm3jones's picture

UV for the two trolls who DV you.

There is nothing more remarkable as learning to think better.

-1 HS
Shangheyed's picture

Both got game, take it to the next level, make us proud!

CPDenn's picture

I feel awful for Q. Wish he would have gotten drafted. But will always root for him off the court first. We love to celebrate these guys when they have success on the field/court and tend to forget about the ones that don't go to the NFL or NBA, but they're always Buckeyes. No matter what they do, I hope we'll always pull for them and support them.

-1 HS
crusher's picture

I really don't feel bad for Ross. He showed up for the combine overweight and out of shape. Instead of preparing for the biggest interview of his life he decided to slack off. I hope he is able to make a go of it but if he doesn't he can only blame himself.

A little nonsense now and then is relished by the wisest men

+8 HS
ibuck's picture

If Q gets his head right (Matta's way of saying attitude), works consistently hard, and develops both physically and mentally (hoops IQ), I think he'll do well in Europe or the D-league. But this falls squarely on him.

I think Craft has to work on his shooting, and would do well in Europe or the D-league also.

Should be interesting to see what inquiries and offers they get now.

Our honor defend, so we'll fight to the end !

If you can't win your conference, just quietly accept your non-playoff bowl game.

Tater_Schroeder's picture

My gut tells me that Q will have the better chance of playing in the NBA. My heart tells me that Aaron will. They both have things to work on; however, Aaron's deficiencies can be taught and trained, Q's cannot. 


+3 HS
RubixTube's picture

Have to agree with Coach Matta on this one.  It's disappointing to see 'the streak' end, but maybe better for both players future that they aren't tied down to 1 team.  Best of luck to both.

Never before in the history of man have lives less lived been more chronicled. - Dennis Miller

elitesmithie's picture

I dont care what team he plays for; any underclassmen that leaves school and doesn't get drafted at all made a huge mistake.

+1 HS
Buckeye in Illini country's picture

If he can make ~$100,000/ year in Europe, more power to him.  I don't fault Q at all.  

Columbus to Pasadena: 35 hours.  "We're on a road trip through the desert looking for strippers and cocaine... and Rose Bowl wins!"

+2 HS
HotSauceCommittee's picture

Although Craft is a lockdown defender, his handles are suspect making subpar defenders look lockdown against him. I was hoping his name would be called. Bright side, if Pitt Brown got a league tryout, anything is possible for Craft and Ross.

ShowThemOhiosHere's picture

Not surprised at Craft not getting drafted.  A little surprised that Ross didn't - I figured with scoring ability and his size, someone might take a chance on him.  But I guess being the fattest player at the draft and gaining weight after the season ended shows poor work ethic...and none of the teams in the league wanted to deal with that or try to work with that.

Class of 2010.

Fuzzbuck's picture

I have to say I was a little rough on Q yesterday in my comments. I hope he really does make it somewhere in pro hoops. He's still an ex-buckeye and want to see him succeed no matter we think of his decision to leave the program now. He give OSU hoops fans some good games and big shots in the last two years. Lets be good with that and move on- him with a pro career and OSU fans with the new kids coming in.

THEOSUfan's picture

You always hear how the NBA drafts potential.  I see a lot of potential in Q and Craft, but evidently the drafters thought there were other guys out there with more.  Every time I heard, "the SO and SO's select - Drago Hilovicigotch - who recently played in the Polynesian Pygmy League"  I knew our guys chances were dwindling.

jaxbuckeye's picture

For those of you surprised about Q and talking potential, the guy has had a question mark about how motivated he plays cshowing up to the combine as the fatest doesn't help your cause. I love Q but am frustrated because I don't think he lived up to his potential. At some point , he has to own that. 

+1 HS
jaxbuckeye's picture

For those of you surprised about Q and talking potential, the guy has had a question mark about how motivated he plays. Showing up to the combine as the fattest player doesn't help your cause. I love Q but am frustrated because I don't think he lived up to his potential. At some point , he has to own that. 

Bamabucknut's picture

No NBA draftee's........ matches the failure to win the Big 10 conference for the last several years.

Jugdish's picture

When I think of Aaron, it makes me think of John Frank who played football at OSU and the 49ers. John was all academic just like Aaron but John had a great pro football career. John quit football and he was the starting tight end for the 49ers. John wanted to pursue his medical career which he did at OSU. I would like to see Aaron take a cue from John and become a doctor. Can you imagine, with his heart and determination, what a great doctor he could become.

Remember to get your wolverine spayed or neutered. TBDBITL

+1 HS
countrybuckeye's picture

Excellent reference to John Frank.  

"Momma told me there would be days like this."

+1 HS