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.

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