CONWAY – It's going to be awhile before 2011 prospect Aaron Ross can suit up for the University of Arkansas, but he showed Saturday why he will be well worth the wait.
Ross, a 6-7, 205-pound freshman from Pulaski Academy, had game-highs of 23 points and 16 rebounds to lead the Arkansas Wings' 15-and-under squad to a 69-53 over Texas Elite in the Old School Super Regional.
Ross, ranked as one the nation's top 10 2011 prospect nationally by most recruiting services, hit 11-of-19 from the field while showing off a variety of different ways to put the ball in the basket.
"You saw what all he could do today," Arkansas Wings assistant coach Ron Crawford said. "He can score in the paint, he is a man on the boards, he can handle the basketball, he can shoot the jumper, he'll play defense – he is just an extremely talented young guy. He's also team-oriented, fun to be around and the fans that were here tonight got a chance to see all that versatility."
Ross became the youngest known commitment to the Razorbacks program back during February after the then 14-year-old came up for an unofficial visit.
"I always wanted to go to Arkansas and we had been talking on our way there to Fayetteville," Ross said. "I knew if he (Arkansas head Coach John Pelphrey) offered and asked if I wanted to commit I would."
He is obviously a big fan of the Razorbacks and Pelphrey.
"I think it is a program that is really going to go far in the future," Ross said. "His playing style is a lot of fun and he is a great coach."
Ross averaged 8 points and 6 rebounds while playing the first semester this past season for Pulaski Academy before becoming academically ineligible.
"Think about it, this is a kid who has not played competitively since January and he comes out here and does this today," Crawford said. "And he is just working himself back into basketball shape."
"I need to work on my ball-handling, getting in better shape and playing better defense," Ross said. "There are some things that I do pretty well, but there is nothing that I don't need to get better at."
Ross is part of a tremendous 2011 class – one of the best collections of talent in one class the state has seen in some time.
That includes a pair of 6-9 freshman centers in Jonesboro Westside's Hunter Michelson and Van Buren's Hoops Vint, East Poinsett County's Kye Madden and Conway's Micah Delph (son of Marvin Delph) and Dumas' Darion Griswold just to name a few.
"I think the sophomore class may have more depth, but this ninth-grade class has as many kids that I think can play at the SEC level in a long, long time," Crawford said. "It's loaded."
Worth The Wait
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