Covering High School Sports in America

LaQuinton Ross

A year ago at this time, LaQuinton Ross looked like a burned out basketball prodigy.

Once considered the top 2011 talent in America, the 6-foot-8 Ross has seen his game dissected and downgraded consistently over the past two years.

"I got hurt at the beginning of last summer and hurt my ankle real bad," Ross said. "I didn't have a good summer."

"You have to hear people criticize your game when they really don't know what is going on. They didn't know it was an ankle injury. I don't like to make excuses but that's what was going on."

Friday at the adidas Super 64, Ross made a strong case for a return to elite status in the rising senior class, scoring 18 points and controlling the action as a point-forward in MBA Elite's blowout win over the Michigan Mustangs.

Ross consistently opened things up for teammate Rodney Hood, a 6-8 wing who poured in 27 points (more on him tonight).

A native of Jackson, Miss., but student and player at Life Center Academy in Burlington, N.J., Ross did it all at Rancho High School on Friday. His ball-handling and shot looked much-improved. He drove-and-dished the Mustangs to death. Most of all, he looked more mature and purposeful on the court than he has at any time in the last two years. He is having fun.

"I'm back this summer," Ross said. "I started off good this summer and am going to finish off good this summer."

Recruiting-wise, things are still wide open but he did mention four schools that have been on his mind lately.

"Ohio State has been on me really hard. Maryland, West Virginia, Baylor have been in there, too," Ross said. "I'll probably narrow it down at the end of the summer to my top five."