New Raptors bring defence

The Toronto Raptors introduce new draft picks Terrence Ross (left) and Quincy Acy  at the Air...

The Toronto Raptors introduce new draft picks Terrence Ross (left) and Quincy Acy at the Air Canada Centre in Toronto on Friday June 29, 2012. (QMI Agency/ERNEST DOROSZUK)

RYAN WOLSTAT, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 10:54 PM ET

TORONTO - The two newest Raptors held court with the media at the ACC on Friday.

Terrence Ross, selected eighth overall and Quincy Acy, who went 37th revealed a little more about themselves as Toronto’s braintrust delved deeper into why the pair was selected.

Raptors president/general manager Bryan Colangelo said he had seven players slotted ahead of Ross, a talented 6-foot-6 sophomore out of Washington, but ranked Ross eighth, where he eventually ended up.

Colangelo said the Raptors are a “defensive-minded team with a defensive-minded coach and (Ross) is a defensive-minded player.”

He said both Ross and Acy are great athletes who posted some of the better agility numbers at the NBA’s draft combine. Side-to-side quickness is an important part of moving laterally on defence.

“Unbelievable transitioning from offence to defence,” was head coach Dwane Casey’s take on Ross’ transition game.

Both of Ross’ parents were standout basketball players — his father is a former CBA slam dunk champion and his mother would beat Ross until he was in the 7th or 8th grade.

Colangelo said with Acy: “It’s Reggie Evans with a free throw (stroke)” and Casey said Acy has far better hands and offensive ability than Evans, but will need to work to carve out a niche in the league as Evans has done.

The team believes DeMar DeRozan has bulked up enough to spend some time at small forward and think DeRozan and Ross will be able to play together right off the bat.

“To me they’re wing players, they’re interchangeable,” Casey said.

Acy, perhaps sensing some pressure for the first time, seemed a bit overwhelmed when told he would be wearing No. 4, the same as Chris Bosh during his Toronto tenure.

Acy said he actually has a connection with Bosh.

“We played on the same AAU team (Texas Bluechips, at different times). He wore No. … the coach made everybody that played who was a good player wear it. That’s actually why I started wearing it.”

The Raptors want to continue to evolve from a soft squad with major defensive issues, to one that will excel defensively and outwork opponents.

Both Ross and Acy will help in both regards.


Photos