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LaQuinton Ross leaving Ohio State for NBA

By Jeff Borzello | College Basketball Writer

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Aaron Craft's career came to a close when Ohio State lost to Dayton on Thursday afternoon, but he wasn't the only one who played his last game in a Buckeye uniform.

LaQuinton Ross is planning to declare for the NBA draft, sources told CBSSports.com's Gary Parrish.

Ohio State made the news official Friday afternoon.

“My experience at Ohio State has been incredible,” Ross said. “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.”

Ross was Ohio State's leading scorer and rebounder, averaging 15.2 points and 5.9 rebounds during his junior season. He was inconsistent as a sophomore, but came on strong down the stretch and carried that over to this past season. Ross is an effective offensive player due to his ability to score from the perimeter and finish at the rim.

“LaQuinton was an instrumental part of our success over the last three years,” 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.”

With Ross leaving, Ohio State loses three starters from a team that went 25-10 and was bounced in the Round of 64. Thad Matta has reinforcements on the way, though, and they should bring more offensvie pop. Five-star recruits D'Angelo Russell and Keita Bates-Diop will boost scoring, especially Russell. Moreover, redshirt freshman Kameron Williams would have been the team's best outside shooter this past season.

Junior forward Sam Thompson will be the team's leading scorer (7.9 ppg).

 
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