Why Terrence Ross Will Make Draft-Day Doubters Eat Their Words

Patrick BrittonAnalyst IAugust 7, 2012

NEWARK, NJ - JUNE 28:  Terrence Ross (R) of the Washington Huskies greets NBA Commissioner David Stern (L) after he was selected number eight overall by the Toronto Raptors during the first round of the 2012 NBA Draft at Prudential Center on June 28, 2012 in Newark, New Jersey. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
Elsa/Getty Images

While everyone noted that Terrence Ross was a talented player, many draft experts were confused when the shooting guard out of Washington went so high in the draft when players like Austin Rivers and Andre Drummond were still on the board.

John Hollinger of ESPN said, “I had Ross 27th on my board. Not a fan of the pick and thought they could have traded down if that was their guy.”

Sam Amick of Sports Illustrated was less harsh in his proclamation, but still stated that, “while Terrence Ross (No. 8) was expected to go later in the lottery or possibly in the late teens, it's not really a surprise that he landed here.”

Although Bryan Colangelo’s pick of Ross may have been higher than many experts expected, Ross fits the Raptors system very well and should shine under Dwane Casey.

After trading Leandro Barbosa to the Pacers in March, the Raptors were left without a guy who could consistently knock down three pointers. Despite shooting at a very high volume of 5.5 three point attempts per game, Ross still shot over 37 percent beyond the arc, a very high mark considering how many he attempted. While DeMar DeRozan may still become a very good player in this league, he will never become a knock-down shooter which is why drafting Ross was so important.

Not only is Ross a great shooter but he is also very athletic. Dwane Casey preaches defense and Ross should become a favorite right away if he uses his athleticism to help stop opponents from scoring. If DeMar DeRozan shows he can be an effective small forward, don’t be surprised if Ross enters the starting line-up early on in the year.

While Ross struggled at times with his three point shot, overall he played well in Summer League. Ross was second on the team with 14.4 points per game and also tacked on 3.6 rebounds per game. At Washington, Ross averaged 6.4 rebounds per game and should continue to grab boards in the NBA because of his incredible leaping ability.  

Ross may not have been a very big name compared to other lottery picks before the draft, but he will certainly be one of the top players in the class. Ross’ strengths are all things the Raptors value (shooting, defense and rebounding), so don’t be surprised if a few years down the road, he is being considered for All-Star teams while Austin Rivers is still learning how to pass a basketball.