OSU Basketball: A look at the Forwards

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LaQuinton Ross shoes are pretty big, but the shoes he is about to step into are even bigger. One of the main storylines we are going to look at for at the Forward position this year is that of Ross trying to fill the huge void left by 2012-13 Big Ten scoring champ, Deshaun Thomas. Thomas was selected in the second round of the 2013 draft by the San Antonio Spurs and leaves behind his 19.8 points, 5.9 rebounds and 35.4 minutes a game. Ross showed he is plenty capable of stepping into the premier scoring role for the Buckeyes, highlighted by his game winning 3 pointer as time expired against Arizona in the Sweet 16. In addition to that, Ross averaged 8.3 points per game and 2.9 rebounds per game while only averaging 16.9 minutes a game. Expectations will be high for Ross coming into the year based on his averaging the 4th highest points on the team while only getting the 6th most minutes and coming in off the bench. Ross will be counted on to take Thomas’ spot in the lineup this year. Like Thomas before him, Ross can score with his back to the basket in the post, shoot the 3 and create his own shot off the dribble. Perhaps one being left handed and the other being right handed is the only real difference between these two scorers.

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In addition to Ross, another Forward expected to contribute mightily to the team’s success is Slam….err, I mean Sam Thompson. Known for his ability to rise above any defender and throw down some unbelievable dunks, Sam came on strong towards the end of the year as a serious scoring threat. In fact, Thompson led the Buckeyes in 3 point percentage at 40.4 % for the year. He is going to be counted on to expand on his 2012-13 stats of 7.8 points a game and 3.5 rebounds a game. Thompson started all 37 games last year and is expected to be a constant starter on this squad as well.

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Also expecting to contribute as a Forward for the 2013-14 Ohio State Buckeyes is incoming freshman Marc Loving out of Toledo St Johns. Hoping to follow in fellow Toledoans Neshaun Coleman and Jimmy Jackson’s footsteps from Toledo to Columbus is the 6-7 215 pounder. He was the Associated Press player of the year in the state of Ohio in both 2012 and 2013 as well as a 2013 Parade All American and a 4 star recruit per most prep basketball sites. He averaged 21.3 points and 8.2 rebounds a game as a senior. Going into the season, Loving is expected to see some action as a reserve backing up either Thompson or Ross provided he can pick up the defensive schemes Matta has been so accustomed to using.

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