Along with power forward, shooting guard is among the most loaded positions in the upcoming draft, making the decision of Washington's Terrence Ross to leave school early a little curious. But Ross did enjoy a breakout year as a sophomore Husky in 2011-12, averaging 16.4 points and 6.4 rebounds per contest. At 6-foot-6 and 190 pounds, Ross has ideal size to play shooting guard in the NBA assuming he adds some muscle to his lean frame.
Projected anywhere from the late lottery to the late teens, Ross would represent great value after pick number 15. While he doesn't jump off the page as a future star, he lacks weaknesses and does seem like the quintessential shooting guard (think a ceiling of Eddie Jones). Ross is a very good shooter, a good athlete and is explosive enough to finish with force at the rim.
Ross at times can fall in love with the outside shot, but that sometimes works in his favor. He shot over 37 percent from three as a sophomore at Washington, a number particularly impressive considering he attempted 5.5 treys a game. Ross also has an above average pull-up game and can knock down shots coming off screens. Ross would be ideal for a team like Philadelphia that is desperate for a traditional two-guard.
Ross' game is solid – scouts neither rave about any of his strong suits nor dwell on his weaknesses. If there are any significant knocks on Ross, they are his ballhandling and basketball IQ. Ross needs to work on his shot selection, as he sometimes pulls the trigger at the wrong time. He sometimes doesn't seem to have a good feel for the game. While he can finish at the rim via dunk, his mediocre ballhandling limits the ways he can get there. He thrives on the fast break or coming off back screens or cuts, but breaking a defender down off the dribble is not his forte.
Two big pluses to Ross' game, particularly as a shooting guard, are his defense and fearlessness. Ross has the concept of "irrational confidence" that basketball people talk about down pat, which is crucial for a scorer. Perhaps this is a positive side effect of his lower than ideal basketball IQ. He is not afraid to take big shots regardless of how many he has missed that night. His size and athleticism enables him to be an above average defender despite not being particularly long. His defense projects to translate at the NBA level.
Ross will need to add some bulk to his 190 pound frame if he is to fulfill his potential at the next level. His well-rounded game is almost certain to put him in an NBA rotation in the near future. Whether he can develop into more likely depends on if he can develop any of the solid aspects of his game – shooting, scoring, defending – into an an elite skill.