To be honest, the sky is falling for the Ohio State men’s basketball team right now. They have lost three in a row to Purdue, Maryland and now Minnesota, and they have to fix things fast if they want to stop this train from derailing — if it has not already.
But, in this week’s iteration of ‘You’re Nuts’, we will avoid talking about that, and instead do some NBA Draft talk and debate which former Ohio State men’s basketball player should’ve stayed one more year.
To recap, last week we debated whether or not we thought Ohio State freshman Brice Sensabaugh was a sure fire one-and-done player for the Buckeyes.
With the overwhelming majority of the vote at 77 percent, Connor won with him saying that yes, Sensabaugh is gone. Justin got the other 23 percent of the vote by saying not so fast my friend (he probably is gone though).
Here are the updated standings after 83 of these things.
After 83 weeks:
(There have been four ties)
So now, let’s jump into this week’s topic.
This week’s question: Which former Ohio State men’s basketball player should’ve stayed one more year?
Connor: LaQuinton Ross
Ohio State has a handful of players selected in the NBA Draft over the past decade — six, to be exact. They’ve also had a handful of players enter the NBA Draft and not be selected over the past decade — five, to be exact. Everyone always has an opinion on whether a player should return for another year of college basketball when they leave early, but it’s typically tough to tell if it was actually the wrong decision until the following year.
Early departures can sometimes look bad for a program, but ultimately open up a role for a younger player to snatch up and thrive in that wouldn’t have happened if the older player had stayed.
While this prompt isn’t limited to the last decade, I chose LaQuinton Ross, who played at Ohio State from 2011-2014. During his three seasons, he averaged 10.6 points and 4 rebounds per game, while shooting 45.2% overall and 36.4% from three. As a junior, he averaged 15.2 PPG, 5.9 rebounds, and 0.8 assists per game for an Ohio State team that went 25-10 overall, 10-8 in Big Ten play, and ultimately lost to Dayton in the first round of the NCAA Tournament (yup, that team).
That Ohio State team was offensively challenged — to put it lightly — and Ross was the leading scorer by a wide margin. He was thrust into the role of go-to guy a year before he was probably ready to be the go-to guy, and, in my opinion, also entered the draft one year too early.
The following year’s team was anchored by the future No. 2 pick in the NBA Draft, D’Angelo Russell. However, Russell’s next-best offensive options were Sam Thompson and a sophomore Marc Loving — not the deepest roster in Ohio State history.
The 2014-15 Buckeyes went 24-11 overall, 11-7 in the Big Ten, and lost in the second round of the NCAA Tournament to Arizona, 73-58. Russell was held to nine points on 3-19 shooting. Ohio State’s lack of quality options were glaring against the Wildcats, and having a senior Ross there would have been a huge asset if he didn’t declare for the 2014 NBA Draft and go undrafted.
Would he have been drafted the following year? I’m not sure, but he also didn’t go as a junior.
Justin: Daequan Cook
Daequan Cook is a name that will forever live in Ohio State basketball lore for helping the Buckeyes get to a national championship in 2006-07, but is a guy that probably should have stayed in Columbus for a little bit longer for his sake.
If you are reading this and do not know who Cook is or just don’t remember, let’s take a trip down memory lane.
Cooks was apart of the famed “Thad Five” of the 2006 freshman class, alongside Greg Oden, Mike Conley, Othello Hunter and David Lighty. One of the best recruiting classes in the country and in the history of the program, and Cook was a big part of that.
Oden was the crown jewel of the class as the top recruit in the country, but Cook was also a five-star prospect. He was the No. 14 overall player and No. 2 shooting guard in the nation coming out of Dunbar High School in Dayton.
Cook was solid in his freshman season for the Buckeyes, but at times was overshadowed by the dynamic duo of Oden and Conley. He averaged 9.8 points, 4.8 rebounds and one assist per game in just under 20 minutes per contest off the bench. He played in all of the Buckeyes 39 games and started in one.
Along with Oden and Conley, Cook declared for the NBA Draft after the season, and he was drafted by the Philadelphia 76ers with the 21st pick. Cook played his first three seasons with the Miami Heat.
Cook had a decent NBA career, playing for seven seasons with four different teams. He also enjoyed seven seasons of overseas professional basketball success.
The main reason I think he would have benefitted in coming back to school is he would have been their top or second go-to scorer the next season. The Buckeyes lost Oden, Conley, and Ron Lewis the previous season and only had two double-digit scorers on the team in 2007-08 in Jamar Butler and freshman Kosta Koufas. Cook would have been a 30 minute plus per game a night guy and with his scoring prowess, easily could have averaged 15-17 points and shown he can be the go-to scorer on a Big Ten team.
He could have been a lottery pick the following season but more importantly, been able to polish and sharpen his offensive toolbox a little bit more to prepare for the league.
Which former Ohio State men’s basketball player should’ve stayed one more year?
This poll is closed
Connor: LaQuinton Ross
Justin: Daequan Cook