Plenty of digital ink has been spilled over what Aaron Craft isn't. He isn't a great, or even good, jump shooter. He doesn't have much long range, and he can't create his own shot effectively. But he's an outstanding defender, worker, and leader. Unfortunately he and teammate LaQuinton Ross, the latter who forewent his senior season to make himself eligible for the draft, both went undrafted during the 2014 NBA Draft.
Craft is leaving Columbus as one of the most decorated and revered Buckeyes in recent memory, if not all time. He's the career Big Ten leader in steals, and is 5th all time in assists. A two-time Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year winner, Craft rode his trademark hustle, crushing defense, and excellent awareness to the NBA, and a highly successful tenure as an Ohio State Buckeye.
Last season, Craft led the team with 4.7 assists per game, and 2.5 steals, to go with his 9.8 points, 3.6 boards, and 74% free throw shooting. Now that he is freed from having to be a major offensive weapon, Craft should be to play within himself more, moving the basketball, without having to drive to the basket to try and force anything that isn't there. If nothing else, he should at least be efficient. Craft may not hit the profile on paper of an NBA rotational player, but people have been underestimating Craft for his entire career. He just might have a pro career yet.
Ross, who was a highly touted four-star wing out of high school, missed the first half of his inaugural season in Columbus due to eligibility issues. He appeared in just nine games that season before taking a more prominent role his sophomore season. During that year, he was still a bit tentative and occasionally showed flashes of immaturity, but was an effective role player, and hit a game winning three pointer against Arizona in the Sweet 16.
Entering his senior season, after Deshaun Thomas went pro, Ross was expected to be the guy in Columbus. Though he proved to be the Buckeyes' leading scorer, he was streaky at times, seeing his field goal percentage drop to 44.7% and three point percentage go from 38.9 to 35.3 his junior season. He also found himself in the midst of several on the court altercations and never really grew up in full the way Ohio State fans would've hoped.
That said, with great length, and a knack for putting the ball in the basket, Ross has the ability to succeed at the next level. He might necessitate a few years abroad to truly hone his game, but he'll likely have a shot in NBA Summer League, either this season or the next, to earn an opportunity to stick with an NBA team.
Best of luck to both Craft and Ross with whatever's next.