Thursday, June 28, 2012

Toronto Raptors take UW's Terrence Ross with 8th pick overall

By Kshell

The Toronto Raptors selected Washington Huskies guard Terrence Ross with the 8th pick overall in the 2012 NBA Draft. Ross will become the fifth Husky drafted in the first round in the Lorenzo Romar era and eighth player overall drafted. Ross was only at Washington for two years after sitting out his senior year of high school at Jefferson High. Ross who electric at Washington with his three point shooting and incredible dunks also accomplished quite a bit with the Huskies. With the Huskies Ross was first-team all tournament team in the 2011 Pac-10 tournament and was first-team all Pac-12 in 2012. When Ross arrived at Washington Romar had called him the best athlete he'll ever coach. Everyone thought Romar was crazy when he made that statement but after two years nobody thinks that now.

When Ross came to Washington he was known as the "other" Terrence as him and his high school teammate Terrence Jones both committed to Washington on the same day. Only Jones backed out and went to Kentucky instead. For Ross he was an after thought and at Washington he was the last man in the rotation at first. Then due to injuries to Abdul Gaddy(season ending), Scott Suggs(missed a few games), C.J. Wilcox(missed a few games) and Venoy Overton's off court issues that allowed Ross to shine. Ross as a freshman played in 34 games starting four(three in Pac-10 tournament and one in NCAA tournament) as he averaged 8.0 PPG, 2.8 RPG and made 1.3 three's a game. Ross shot 44.3% from the field, 35.2% on three pointers and 75.8% on free throws. In the Pac-10 tournament he was big time averaging 15.3 points per game while shooting 19-36(52.7%) from the field and made 6-17(35.3%) from three point range. He ended the year scoring 19 points on 7-10 shooting against North Carolina who had four guys on that roster drafted in the first round. That led to his sophomore season which saw him earn first-team all conference. Ross started all 34 games and averaged 16.4 PPG, 6.4 RPG and made 2.1 three pointers a game. Ross shot 45.7% from the field, 37.1% from three point range and 76.6% from the free throw line. The Huskies missed the NCAA tournament despite winning the Pac-12 regular season championship. Ross made the most of it in the NIT leading the Huskies to the NIT final four averaging 25.0 PPG, 5.5 RPG and making 3.8 three pointers a game. Ross scored a career high 32 points against the Northwestern Wildcats in the second round NIT game making six three pointers.

Ross is the highest draft pick for the Huskies since Brandon Roy went 7th overall back in 2006. In fact Ross is only the fourth Husky to go top 10(Detlef Schrempf, Brandon Roy and Spencer Hawes). Ross was probably the most NBA gifted player the Huskies have had since Roy as he had no weaknesses in college. Like Roy, Ross could beat you to the hole and he could also beat you outside. Roy went on to play in three all-star games, Schrempf played in two while winning the sixth man of the year in two other separate seasons while Hawes has had a breakout playoffs for the 76ers. In the Romar era he has proven he can recruit and turn those recruits into NBA players. Ross was a kid who didn't play basketball his senior year and two years later was a top 10 pick. Ross won't leave behind the legacy that Roy has but no Husky have lived up to that in the Romar era. Ross though has a chance to stick in the NBA and by going to the Raptors can grow into a star. Ross is hoping to joing Roy and Schrempf as the only Huskies to play in an all-star game. Romar has produced some stars in the past and it appears the program is growing in the right direction with these type of talented players. This is a good moment for Ross even if he gave the Huskies only two years as both years gave the Huskies conference championships.

For Romar this day is bittersweet for him as he is saying goodbye to Ross. This is a happy day for the program as they have another guy head off to the NBA and Romar will be able to sell that to recruits. The downer for Romar is Ross had two more years of eligibility and going into the year I'm sure Romar was hoping Ross would have given the Huskies one more year. The fact Ross kept having big moments this year in big games made it so we all knew Ross was going to leave. Ross developed faster than anyone could have imagined. He is now going to a passionate fan base in Toronto that is eager for a winner. He is going to a roster where he can play early and get some minutes. Ross can develope as Toronto isn't in the media eye so there will be no pressure on him. Ross can develope at his own pace and I know Ross will be a good NBA player when all said and done.

This is a special day for the Huskies with Ross going in the first round. Ross helped the Huskies to two conference championships and had plenty of big moments for this school. He was very humble on the court and a hard guy to dislike. He was very athletic and skilled which is rare to find in a player as they usually have one and not the other. Ross will make the Raptors fans proud much like he has made the Huskies fans proud the last two years. Ross was only here for a short while but his impact being a top 10 pick might just be his biggest contribution to the Huskies yet. Which is saying a lot considering he has hit plenty of big shots for this program the last two years. Ross is now going to Canada as he'll do his best to lead the Raptors back into the playoffs for the first time since 2008.

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