GANSEVOORT, N.Y. – Freshman Rich Ross (Bronx, N.Y.) of the Wells College men's basketball team captured North Eastern Athletic Conference Men's Basketball Rookie of the Year honors, the conference office announced Thursday. Ross also earned NEAC Second Team All-Conference honors after his impressive rookie campaign.
Ross becomes the first player in program history to earn Rookie of the Year honors from the North Eastern Athletic Conference. He is also the team's first recipient of All-Conference honors since Al Paul '14 following the 2013-14 season.
In 25 games played for the Express, Ross finished with 19.4 points per game to finish second overall in the NEAC in average point scoring. Leading all rookies in points per game, Ross also hauled in 7.4 rebounds per game while also dishing out a team-leading 70 assists for the Express.
Among the league's men's basketball players, Ross finished first in free throws made against NEAC opponents (101), second in overall free throws made (145) and points scored (486), fourth in free throw percentage (83.8), seventh in minutes played (834), eighth in rebounds against conference teams (102) and 10th in field goals made (149).
Versus conference opponents, Ross finished third with 20.2 points per game and was the 10th best average rebounder (8.1) against league foes. A standout free throw shooter, Ross made 85.6% of his attempts from the charity stripe (101-for-118) against conference opponents. His 145 overall free throw makes placed him second in the conference and 21st nationally among NCAA Division III men's basketball players.
On the season, Ross reached double-digit point scoring in 24 of his 25 games and recorded a season-high 31 points against Houghton on Nov. 21, 2015 – in that contest, he shot 10-for-13 from the floor and was 8-for-10 from the free throw line. He also notched at least one assist in 23-of-25 games and racked up double-digit rebounds on five separate occasions. He missed only six free throws across his final 50 attempts of the season.
Ross tallied the third-most points in a single season for Wells and his 19.4 points per game is the second-best single season mark on record. Furthermore, he enters his sophomore season ranked 12th all-time in career point scoring (486).
As a team, the Express finished its eighth varsity season in 2015-16 with its sixth postseason appearance. Wells posted a 12-13 overall record after sprinting to a 10-7 mark against conference opponents.