June 17, 2014
|Earnest Ross suddenly remembering how much he enjoyed the Lego movie.
, Missouri, Senior, 6'5 228lbs2013/14 stats:
31.9 mpg, 14.0 ppg, 6.0 rpg, 1.4 apg, 1.3 spg, 0.4 bpg, 2.0 fpg, 1.9 TOpg, 41.1% FG, 31.1% 3PT, 77.6% FT
Ross was one of the few genuine talents on a decimated Auburn team, but transferred last year to spend his senior season with a different kind of Tiger. In Missouri, however, he was symptomatic of the problems that led to a mere NIT season.
Very strong, with good height, a good frame, some muscle and some athleticism, Ross has all the physical tools to be a quality slashing two guard. And indeed, he can be. As long as he gets to take the first power dribble to his right hand side, Ross could get past any collegiate wing defender. And once he gets into the paint and around the basket, his strength becomes a virtue. It's not polished, more sort of bullish, and he can lose the handle on the ball, but Ross can barrel in and finish through contact, an effective and decently efficient finisher with his right hand. He utilises the occasional hesitation dribble, and, when so minded, can get to where he wants in the paint.
However, I am saying he 'can' do this, rather than he 'does' do this, because the simple most identifying feature of Ross's game is his excessive love for his jump shot. Ross takes way too many three point shots for a 31% three point shooter, to the point that it is predictable and highly frustrating, and yet no matter how predictable it is, he does not change. If he catches on the perimeter, his first and second intents are to shoot off of said catch, not even doing all that much to create space for the shot or use it as a decoy. Ross has physical tools and talent but just does not make the right decisions with it all.
It is easy for him to get into the paint when he wants to, but Ross just doesn't want to, and it is not a trend that shows any sign of ending. You cannot even say that the jumper is a necessary thing to take in order to set up the drives, because the jumper wildly outnumbers the drives, and as a defensive unit, you're pretty OK with him taking them that way around. Ross at least improved defensively during his career, improving his awareness and reads to an average level after playing with a similarly devil-may-style earlier in his career. He also rebounds well for a wing, using that same size and strength on the glass as he occasionally does on offense. The offense, however, suffers from the same flaw it always has done.
Some players need to learn to shoot. Ross needs to learn not to. At the very least, man, add a foul line pull-up.
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