Matta not giving up on Ross

When Ohio State freshman LaQuinton Ross fired off an angry tweet shortly after not getting off the bench in No. 6 Ohio State’s win at Minnesota Tuesday night, Ross knew he’d screwed up.

So he went to Thad Matta as soon as the Buckeyes’ coach returned from the locker room from the postgame press conference and told Matta that he realized he was wrong in tweeting “I don’t know how much longer I can take this BULL****!!!!!”

“He came to see me and said he’d made a mistake,” Matta said. “I’m like, ‘I’ve only been gone for 10 minutes. What happened?'”

Matta said Ross told him he had deleted the tweet, was apologizing to the coaches and would also offer an apology on Twitter, if he needed to. Matta isn’t much of a Twitter guy but appreciated Ross coming clean.

“I probably have to get more caught up on the social networking of society today,” Matta said.

Ross has been playing catch up since joining the Buckeyes in December. Ross enrolled at Ohio State in September but was ruled academically ineligible by the NCAA shortly after. He returned home to Mississippi to fulfill his missing academic requirements, retook the SAT and rejoined the team after fall quarter when the NCAA restored his eligibility.

Scout.com rated Ross as the 44th best recruit in the country in the class of 2011. He’s played a total of 26 minutes in six games and has gone 2-of-10 shooting.

He hit a 3-pointer in the closing minutes of his Ohio State debut on Dec. 22 and there was some hope he’d be able to add some needed 3-point pop to the Buckeyes’ lineup, but he’s been unable to crack what remains a changing rotation.

“I want him hungry,” Matta said. “He has a tremendous future here, there’s no doubt about that. He’s been awesome in practice.”

Ohio State sophomore forward Jared Sullinger signed off of Twitter earlier this season but said he’s talked to Ross about keeping a positive attitude and working towards a brighter future.

“I couldn’t even tell you what he tweeted,” Sullinger said. “I don’t check Twitter anymore.

“I know (a lot of) talented players have been through something like this. To put it out in the public eye was wrong and he understands it was wrong. He’s behind. He understands that. All he can do is get better and keep plugging away, just compete.
“He’s out there in practice giving us his best every day.”