Freshman Eager to Prove Himself at Auburn

Newcomer Earnest Ross is on the Auburn campus getting an early start on his collegiate hoops career.

Auburn, Ala.--A newcomer on the Auburn campus is an athlete who might be able to break into the playing rotation for Coach Jeff Lebo this season.

Earnest Ross, who was his conference's player of the year after averaging 21 points per game as a senior, is a 6-5 swingman who is expected to see action at the small forward and the two-guard spots for the 2009-2010 Auburn men's basketball team.

He started classes on Monday at Auburn after going through Camp War Eagle and other counseling programs the previous week.

"It is going real good," Ross says of his transition to college life. "I just started summer school this week and am working out trying to prepare for the season."

Ross reported to campus in good physical condition and says he isn't shy about working hard. "I am hoping to get bigger through strength and conditioning drills," he says, noting that his weight currently fluctuates between 210 and 215 pounds.

"I hope to improve my game and do whatever I can to help the team out and win games and make it to the tournament this year," he says.

Ross notes that he is glad that he made it in for summer classes with other members of the 2009 signee class. "It is a big thing to come down here and get used to campus while school is out," he says. "Getting to know the players, playing pickup and taking summer school classes is important and hopefully it will lead to bigger and better things."

He says the returning players from Lebo's team are helping out the newcomers. "They are most definitely doing that," he says. "All of the older players criticize and tell us what we need to do to get better. They help us out on our game. In conditioning drills, we always have an older player helping lead us."

Ross was considered one of the top prospects in the state of North Carolina as a senior. He is shown following a conditioning workout on the Auburn campus.

After wrapping up his playing days at Panther Creek High School in Cary, N.C., Ross was the leading scorer in the North Carolina-South Carolina All-Star Game. "It was a big thing and I loved it while it was happening, but now it is time to work," he says. "That is what I am here to do."

Asked what position he expects to play for the Tigers, Ross responds, "I am whatever the coach needs me to play whether it is one, two, three, four or five. I am here to do it all. I just want to help the team win."

As he begins his collegiate days, Ross says he believes his "mid-range game" is his strength as a player. "I can always improve on that," he adds. "I can improve on everything. I have been working on my ball-handling and I am pretty confident in that now as well as my shooting."

Ross is taking three classes this summer, but says he isn't sure what his major is going to be. "I am looking at liberal arts, business or computer engineering," he points out. "My goal for college is to make good grades, get a great education and help the team. That is all I am trying to do."

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