Now that the 2012-2013 high school basketball season has come to a close, many of the state's best unsigned senior prospects will look toward's their college recruitment this spring. With many top-rated prospects still unsigned and available, college programs around the country will begin to start scouring the country and the state of Arizona for players.
One player that has really developed throughout his high school career and absolutely blew up in his final senior campaign was Kellis High School's 6-foot-3 senior combo-guard prospect Desmond Ross.
While playing alongside other top-rated prospects earlier in his high school career, Ross shared the spotlight with former 6-foot-9 stud Kenny Martin (Arizona State) and Demitrius Balark the last two high school seasons. Ross sacrificed his own individual scoring for the better of his Kellis team, as his team finished 26-3 during the 2011-2012 season, before falling in the Division-II state semi-finals.
This season, while being relied on heavily to carry his team to victories, Ross stepped up in a tremendous way - raising his overall numbers significantly and leading his team to a 19-9 record before falling to Agua Fria HS in the state playoffs. Ross averaged big numbers, as he put up 25.1 points, 7.7 rebounds and 3.1 steals per/game - a tremendous improvement from his numbers as a junior. This young man was well-deserving of our Most Improved Player Award for the season.
Ross started off the 2012-2013 high school basketball season with a stellar performance in last year's Arizona Preps Fall Showcase, where he sizzled for the college scouts in attendance. Ross' performance in the event raised many eyebrows of the national, regional and local scouts in attendance and proved that he is worthy of consideration among the elite prospects in Arizona's 2013 class.
As a result of Ross' performance this high school season, he has began to garner a lot of recruiting attention, as many mid-major division-I programs are now expressing very serious interest in the talented guard prospect. While it is still unclear as to what direction Ross will head for his collegiate future, this young man is definitely garnering recognition.
Ross is a true combo-guard prospect with excellent size for the point guard position, and also has a nice ability to score the basketball from the off-guard spot on the floor - something he proved a great deal this high school season. Ross has a slick handle of the basketball and very good quickness off the dribble - allowing him to make plays for himself or others. He is an excellent slasher and has very good body control, which allows him to finish plays over bigger defenders in traffic and slice to the basket between defenders where he is a very good finisher. He is a very good shooter with range on his shot, and is capable of scor9ing off the dribble or from the standstill position on the wing, making him difficult to defend for many opposing guards.
Ross is also an unselfish player that enjoys making the pass to the open man on the floor. While he was asked to score at a high rate this high school season, he also proved last spring and summer while playing for his club program, the Arizona Stars, that he was very capable of playing in a supporting role with other talented scorers. A selfless teammate that enjoys winning and loves the game.
Ross' best attribute for the next level is his ability to defend opposing guards, as he has very good length of body and quick hands. He possesses very good lateral quickness and good foot speed for the guard position, and his length also allows him to be a very good rebounder on both ends of the floor. Adding more size to his physical frame in the future will help him a great deal in his ability to guard stronger, bigger guards. As he matures physically and gets stronger, Ross will maximize his potential as a player.
Ross was also a finalist last spring for a selection for the Reebok All-American Camp, as he showed very well in a tryout for the camp - again proving that this young man steps up against better competition.
Ross is a definite sleeper prospect among Arizona's remaining unsigned senior prospects, and is one player that should find a college home for himself in the very near future.
Arizona Preps will continue to follow Ross' recruitment closely this spring, and bring you any updates as they continue to develop.