Andre Drummond (1) vs. Raps. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-US PRESSWIRE

Terrence Ross – buyer’s remorse?

A Loyal Reader gets a hat-tip for sending me a note about his concerns following the second Raps-Pistons pre-season game. He was impressed with the play of the Pistons’ Andre Drummond, and dismayed at the prominent invisibility of Terrence Ross. Drummond was selected as the next player after Ross in this summer’s draft – did the Raptors pick the right guy? I propose to compare in progress the rookie seasons of these young men. I’m going to post my thoughts after 22 games, after 45, and at season’s end. If we’re lucky, these two will both stand out, and we’ll be adding Rookie of the Year speculation to the posts.

Let’s set the stage properly. Prior to the start of last year’s college season, several draft gurus had Drummond ahead of Anthony Davis as the #1 overall (Ross was never in that conversation). Many teams reputedly stepped away from considering Drummond because of his…um… susceptibility towards a serious affliction known to basketball people as knucklehead-itis. Dwane Casey fell in love with Ross’s scoring prowess at his pre-draft workout, and given Coach’s aversion to perceived troublemakers (cf., Johnson, James & Bayless, Jerryd) it was no surprise the Raps passed on Drummond.

Given that Ross is a mid-sized, outside shooting wing player, and Drummond is a giant rim-protecting centre, I might be accused of comparing apples & trucks. I don’t agree, largely because we can brush lightly over raw statistics & consider each player’s impact on his team, his MPG, whether his coach and the fans have been won over by hustle & charisma, analysts’ comments, & the like.

As of this writing, Drummond would appear to be ahead of our man by some distance. Andre already has a double-double (19 & 10 against Bucks – no cheapie) under his belt in preseason, and the buzz is growing. Terrence has been beset by nagging problems like a sore knee and “flu-like symptoms” and has been held out of several games. Can Terrence catch up? Will Andre let early success go to his head?  We’ll be watching.

In closing, if you like this idea, let me know who else (Austin Rivers?) we might try this informal comparison with.

Brian Boake is a staff writer for Raptors Rapture. “Like” Raptors Rapture on Facebook and follow us on Twitter @RaptorsRapture for all the latest news and updates about the best damn NBA team from Canada.

Tags: Andre Drummond Dwane Casey Raptors Terrence Ross Toronto Raptors

  • Jeffrey Thompson

    Personally, I though Drummond was picked a little too high. He’s extremely raw and was not that impressive playing at UConn. I mean the man shot .396 from the FT line for heaven’s sake. Anyways I think Colangelo made a solid choice in picking Terrence Ross, although I would have preferred him getting Austin Rivers instead. Ross has a rather polished fundamental game to go with a rather solid shooting stroke. From what I see, he probably has a more polished game than Demar DeRozan in terms with his perimeter shooting.

    Anyways, getting Drummond at 8 would not have made any sence as the raptors have already invested in developing Jonas Valunciunas into their center of the future, and with Bargnarni, Davis and Johnson filling up the front court, there would not have been enough minutes to go around anyways. Plus, Ross fills a immeadeate void for the Raptors in terms of perimeter scoring.

    • Newmarket_Brian

      I hear you about the need for perimeter scoring. There are still many advocates out there of the “pick the best available player” philosophy, who wanted to take Drummond, then figure things out. I’m not one of them, as I believe putting doctrine over common sense is brain-dead. A Drummond choice would have created a host of issues, as you point out. But the issue remains: if Ross bombs, and Drummond matures into a star, the second-guessers will have a field day.
      I hope this series will prove interesting.

  • John Steppling

    People have drummond has looked good, but i disagree. Yes he can dunk. He gets boards, but he also is lost 50% of the time on defense and thats being kind. Ross has looked very good, especially defensively. He needs to get stronger, but he will. Drummond is sort of like demarcus cousins, great stats but a loser. Not a guy to win with. And someone below mentioned Austin Rivers……..are you serious? He has been just awful. Dreadful. At best he projects as a marcus thornton type… best. I think Ross was a great call, certainly better than Cavs and Waiters.

    • Newmarket_Brian

      John, what’s going to be most interesting is what happens when the games actually mean something. There are players who can’t find the extra gear in practices or even pre-season who are monsters when it counts. I go back far enough to remember that being said of Dave Cowens.

      Given that you’re down on Rivers, while others are up, I’m going to watch him as well. He’ll get more than a mention during this series. I think I’m going to write the first installment after Game 22, which is the last game of the west coast swing. We’ll see how the kids are doing then.