Arkansas Razorbacks basketball signee Aaron Ross will be heading to a prep school this fall, according to his brother, but that might not be a bad thing for Ross, basketball recruiting expert Rob Harrington of PrepStars.com said Friday afternoon.
“I don’t think it will hurt Ross to take an extra year before he gets to college,” said Harrington, whose website partners with 247sports.com to compile the Top 247 basketball recruit rankings.
“He’s physically ready. He’s a strong kid, but he can work on becoming more of a pure three (small forward). That will be the biggest challenge in college will be to break out of being a combo forward and becoming a true three. Taking an extra year on that is not going to hurt him.”
Ross, a 6-foot-7 forward from Little Rock Parkview, did not make the score on the ACT in June that he needed to become academically eligible to play at Arkansas, his brother, Carlos Conley, told Hawgs247 on Friday morning. Conley said Ross will choose between two prep schools – St. Thomas More School in Oakdale, Conn., or St. John’s Northwestern Military Academy in Delafield, Wis. – in about 10 days to two weeks.
If Ross, a three-star recruit who was ranked No. 160 nationally in 2011 by 247sports.com, chooses St. Thomas More, he’ll join a program that’s well acquainted with top-notch talent. St. Thomas More competes in the New England Prep School League, and its 2011-2012 roster includes Andre Drummond, a 6-10, 255-pound center who is currently ranked the No. 2 recruit in the nation by 247sports.com.
Jaylen Bond, a 6-7 power forward from Pennsylvania who has signed with Pittsburgh, had said he would play for St. Thomas More next season instead of going to college. But Bond recently changed his mind and plans to play for the Texas Longhorns in 2011-2012, pending a release from his letter of intent with Pitt, according to Hookem.com.
“If he (Ross) goes there, obviously he’ll be asked to defer (to Drummond),” Harrington said. “If he plays with Drummond, obviously he won’t be the main attraction. It wouldn’t be the kind of thing where he would go put up big numbers, but that’s not the kind of thing he needs to worry about anyway.”
St. John’s Northwestern Military Academy, located in a suburb of Milwaukee, is coached by Alfonzo Duncan, who was formerly an assistant coach at Virginia Tech and Florida Atlantic. Harrington said St. John’s is accustomed to working with students who are there trying to qualify to play in college.
Ross, who won an AAU national title with the Arkansas Wings and helped Parkview go 26-5 and win the 6A state title last season, hopes to re-sign with Arkansas after one year at a prep school, his brother said. Two of Ross’ Wings teammates, Hunter Mickelson of Jonesboro Westside and Rashad Madden of East Poinsett County, will be freshmen this season for a Razorbacks team that now has only 11 scholarship players.