Lady Frogs’ legend possibility for WNBA draft selection

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    The Lady Frogs are losing one of their most familiar and talented faces, but the game of basketball is not ready to let her go yet.

    Adrianne Ross finished her fifth season as a Lady Frog on March 30 with a Women’s National Invitation Tournament loss to the University of Colorado at Boulder.

    Ross now hopes to start her first season with the WNBA after a possible selection in today’s draft.

    Ross could become only the second women’s basketball player in TCU history to be taken in the pro draft, joining friend and mentor Sandora Irvin, who was taken third overall in 2005.

    Draft Camp

    The WNBA held its Pre-Draft Camp April 4 to 5, in which Ross and invited players participated in front of general managers, coaches and scouts.

    The Pre-Draft Camp consisted of two three-hour sessions of professional drills and team play, an opportunity for WNBA teams to scout potential picks.

    The first day, players were put through drills used to measure speed, athleticism and general skill.

    “Fortunately, because we played until recently I was still in great shape,” Ross said.

    In the second day of camp players were separated into teams.

    Ross said she was able to show off some of her versatility, knocking down pull-up jumpshots in transition, handling the ball, dishing well-timed passes and playing good defense.

    She credits some of her success during the second day of team play to TCU’s head coach Jeff Mittie.

    “Fortunately coach Mittie always had me guard the best wings so I was ready defensively,” she said.

    The Big Day

    Ross described the talent pool for today’s draft as possibly the deepest the league has ever seen.

    The draft is being shown live on ESPN2, ESPNU and NBA TV, and Ross said she is going to watch it with her teammates, who she said have been a constant support group throughout the process.

    Ross said she has kept in contact with Irvin, who acts as director of basketball operations for TCU and is a member of the San Antonio Silver Stars.

    Irvin has been keeping her hopes high, Ross said.

    “To hear her say, ‘You’re better than some of the players out there,’ is really comforting,” Ross said.

    As for draft projections, Ross said she is aware they are all over the place, but she tries to ignore them and not take too much stock in them.

    Big City Living

    Ross is an admitted small-town girl. A native of Hobbs, N.M., which according to the 2000 census has a population of 28,657, Fort Worth initially was a big-city move for Ross, she said.

    “Coming home from Fort Worth everyone in Hobbs says, ‘Oh you’re a big city girl now,’ which is funny because Fort Worth is known as Cow Town.”

    She now looks forward to transitioning to possibly an even larger city. Ross said one of the great things about the WNBA is every franchise is located in a great city and the seasons are over summer so even if she ends up in Minnesota, weather won’t be a big issue.

    TCU Baller Extraordinaire

    The WNBA’S interest in Ross makes complete sense when her numbers, accolades and time with TCU are evaluated.

    Ross finished her Lady Frog career as the club’s all time leader in steals (339), games played (135) and field-goal attempts (1562).

    She was a member of three NCAA tournament teams with the Lady Frogs, and this past season’s WNIT quarterfinals appearance.

    Her junior year, Ross was named Mountain West Conference Co-Player of the Year and an honorable-mention All-American.

    She leaves TCU as statistically, and arguably, one of its best players ever.

    Pro Status

    Ross has already hired an agent and intends on playing professionally in the WNBA whether she is drafted or a free agent.

    If drafted, Ross said, she will have to report to training camp almost immediately because it starts April 17. If not, Ross said she will have the opportunity to take a look at different teams’ needs and have some choice as to which team she tries out for as an undrafted free agent.

    “It’s a lot different than it was for college,” Ross said. “In high school you got to pick what school you go to, but now they’re choosing you.”

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