Feb 16, 2013; Fayetteville, AR, USA; Arkansas Razorbacks guard BJ Young (11) keeps control of the ball as Missouri Tigers guard Earnest Ross (33) attempts to steal during a game at Bud Walton Arena. Arkansas defeated Missouri 73-71. Mandatory Credit: Beth Hall-USA TODAY Sports

Mizzou Basketball: Earnest Ross Preview

With all the success of the Missouri football team, the basketball season has crept up on many Tiger fans. But it is almost here, so to get you ready, here is a preview of Earnest Ross. He is one of the Tiger’s most talented returning players and a key piece of the 2013-2014 Mizzou basketball team.

Ross is a redshirt senior guard who has played just one year at Missouri. He transferred from Auburn, Mizzou’s foe in the SEC, to the black and gold Tigers two years ago. After sitting out one year, Ross excelled last season for Missouri. He averaged 10 points and five boards in 25 minutes per game. With less than 40% of Missouri’s scoring returning for this season, Ross should see his role expanded this year.

Ross’s strengths are his measurables and his three point shooting abilities. Ross weighs in at 6-5, 228 pounds, which is a great size for a shooting guard or small forward in the SEC. Ross has no trouble staying with opposing players as well, using his long frame and lateral quickness to lock down opposing shooters. Ross is also a very good three point shooter, with a .377 mark from downtown last season. Hopefully for Frank Haith and the Tigers, that number will slightly increase into the .400 range as Ross’s oppertunities increase this season.

There are some questions about how Ross will adjust to being the number one or number two option on the team. Last year, a lot of the open perimeter looks for Missouri came as a result of double teams and the general attention that Missouri’s two bigs, Lawrence Bowers and Alex Oriakhi, commanded. Without those two big men, Ross will be expected to score more with less supporting cast around him. There are also adjustments to learning to start rather than coming off the bench.

Earnest Ross will be a big key to Missouri’s success this season. If Ross goes above and beyond expectations placed upon him, Missouri could sneak into the top 25 early in the season and stay there after some wins in the SEC. Ross must adjust quickly struggles to being a number one or two option on this team, as well as being a starter and a leader for Mizzou in the 2013-2014 season.

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