Courtesy of Ohio State Athletic Department
Ohio State men’s basketball freshman forward LaQuinton Ross used social media to voice frustration about playing time after the team’s 78-68 Tuesday win at Minnesota. Coach Thad Matta and a teammate agreed Ross has learned a lesson from the ordeal.
Following the Buckeyes’ road victory against the Golden Gophers in which Ross watched from the bench as 10 of his teammates entered the game, the player let fly with a tweet from his account, @qross2011, which read: “Don’t know how much longer I can take this BULLSHIT!!!!!.” Matta said Ross, rated the No. 43 overall recruit in the class of 2011 by Rivals.com, came to him minutes later to discuss the tweet.
“He said, ‘I think I made a mistake,'” Matta said during a Friday press conference. “I was shocked.”
Ross deleted the tweet and told his coach he wanted to issue an apology, which later read: “I let my emotions get the best of me!!! I want to apologize to #buckeyenation that should have been something I took up with my coaches!!,” Ross said from his Twitter account.
Shortly after, Ross tweeted again, saying: “At the end of the day I’m just a competitor.”
Matta said he appreciates Ross’ desire to play, adding that he wants the player to display that in practice and not on social media websites.
“I think he knows that he has a tremendous future here, there’s no doubt about that,” Matta said. “He’s been awesome at practice.”
Sophomore forward Jared Sullinger announced earlier in the season that he was taking a vacation from Twitter and said he therefore didn’t know exactly what Ross tweeted. Sullinger said he addressed the issue with Ross.
“I told him that it’s going to be all right,” Sullinger said. “Most talented players go through something like this. Honestly, to put it out there in the public eye was wrong and he understands now.”
Ross’ frustration might stem from the fact that he missed team activities during the fall academic quarter after being ruled academically ineligible on Sept. 26, 2011, Sullinger said.
“He didn’t have a chance to tryout in the two weeks before we played our (preseason) exhibition game,” Sullinger said of Ross, who rejoined the team at the start of the winter academic quarter. “So, he was kind of behind the eight ball. He understands that now. All you can do is get better and keep plugging away and just compete.”
Ross has played in a team-low six games during the 2011-12 campaign and is averaging just four minutes per game. The forward is 2-of-10 from the field and has scored 11 points during the playing time he’s received.
Sullinger said that while Ross might not be on the floor helping the team during games, his effort in practice has been valuable.
“I think he understands that he has next year,” Sullinger said. “He also has this year. You never know what can happen.”
The No. 6-ranked Buckeyes (22-4, 10-3 Big Ten) continue Big Ten play against No. 17-ranked Michigan (19-7, 9-4) Saturday at the Crisler Center in Ann Arbor, Mich. Tipoff is set for 9 p.m. and the game will be broadcast nationally on ESPN.