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LaQuinton Ross leaning towards returning to Ohio State?

Apr 1, 2013, 9:42 AM EST

Ohio State Buckeyes' Ross shoots over Arizona Wildcats' Lyons in the first half of their West Regional NCAA men's basketball game in Los Angeles Reuters

If you don’t know the story of LaQuinton Ross, he’s one of the most intriguing players in the country.

The 6-foot-8 forward was once considered the best basketball player in his class, considered by many to be a future NBA all-star and a sure-fire lottery pick one day. But as his high school career continued, he slowly but surely dropped in the recruiting rankings before eventually ending up at Ohio State as an afterthought in their 2012 recruiting class.

Academic issues forced Ross to sit out the first semester, and since Thad Matta’s rotation had already been established, he played little more than garbage time throughout much of the season.

It would have been enough to get a lot of kids in this day and age to transfer, but Ross wasn’t going anywhere. He decided to stick it out at Ohio State, and Matta decided to stick it out with Ross even when he didn’t play well early in the season, and it paid off for both parties. Ross had his coming out party in the NCAA tournament, scoring 53 points in Ohio State’s last three games and hitting the game-winning three against Arizona, reminding the nation just how talented he can be.

And while he renewed interest from NBA scouts, Ross appears to be leaning towards returning to school.

“I’m coming back (to Ohio State) next year,” Ross said. “Right now, I really haven’t thought about next season. I really haven’t thought about that. I’ve only been focused on this year.”

If he does end up returning, Ross will find his way onto quite a few breakout star lists.

You can find Rob on twitter @RobDauster.