Ross Declares For Draft

For the second time since its season came to an end last Thursday, the Ohio State men's basketball team has lost a player to the professional ranks. Six days after Amedeo Della Valle announced that he'll return to Italy to pursue a professional career, LaQuinton Ross declared that he'll forgo his senior season and enter the 2014 NBA Draft.

Following Ohio State's season-ending loss to Dayton on March 20, Buckeyes forward LaQuinton Ross indicated that he had to some options to weigh. And after doing so, Ohio State's leading scorer and rebounder has opted to forego his senior season in Columbus, announcing that he'll be entering the 2014 NBA Draft.

"My experience at Ohio State has been incredible," Ross said in a statement. "Coach Matta, my teammates and the staff were amazing to work with on a daily basis. My goal has always been to play at the next level and I believe now is the best time."

"LaQuinton was an instrumental part of our success over the last three years," head coach Thad Matta said. "His goal is to compete at the highest level possible. He will have that opportunity because of the work he has put in to prepare for this day. He will be missed at Ohio State and we wish him nothing but the very best."

Ross currently projects as a second round pick by most mock draft websites, with predicting that he'll be the No. 55 pick in the upcoming draft and slotting the 6-8, 220-pounder at the No. 56 pick., meanwhile thinks higher of Ross, naming him the No. 28 overall prospect in the upcoming draft.

With season averages of 15.2 points and 5.9 rebounds per game, Ross entered the NCAA Tournament on a streak that included six straight games of having scored at least 19 points. Ross, however, struggled in OSU's season-ending loss to the Flyers, scoring 10 points on 5-of-12 shooting.

In declaring for the upcoming draft, Ross becomes the 10th Buckeye in Thad Matta's 10 years at Ohio State to turn pro before his eligibility expired. Greg Oden, Mike Conley Jr., Daequan Cook, Kosta Koufos, B.J. Mullens, Evan Turner, Jared Sullinger and Deshaun Thomas were all drafted, while Ross' OSU teammate Amedeo Della Valle announced on Saturday that he was returning to his native country of Italy to pursue a professional career.

In addition to Ross and Della Valle, the Buckeyes will lose senior guards Aaron Craft and Lenzelle Smith Jr. from this past year's squad. Ohio State is bringing in what is currently the nation's sixth-ranked recruiting class, which includes five-star guard D'Angelo Russell, five-star forward Keita Bates-Diop, four-star forward Jae'sean Tate and three-star center Dave Bell.

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