Ronald Ross Named to All-American Squad

<p>Texas Tech senior Ronald Ross was named to <i>Basketball Times'</i> All-America Squad today. <p>The Texas Tech Red Raiders play West Virginia in the "Sweet Sixteen" on Thursday. The game takes place at 8:40 Central Standard time and will air on the CBS television network broadcast from The Pit/Bob King Court in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

Duke junior J.J. Redick was named first-team All America by the Basketball Times, the publication announced Tuesday. Redick has led Duke to a 27-5 record, the 2005 ACC Championship and a No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament.

Shelden Williams was also named a third-team All America and head coach Mike Krzyzewski was named the Mid-Atlantic Coach of the Year. The publication named Utah 7-foot sophomore Andrew Bogut its Player of the Year and Illinois' Bruce Weber its Coach of the Year, highlighting honors that will be unveiled in its April 2005 issue.

Georgetown forward Jeff Green is BT's freshman of the year. Other first team All-Americans included 6-0 sophomore Chris Paul (14.9 ppg, 6.6 apg) of Wake Forest, 6-2 Ronald Ross (17.0 ppg, 5.3 rpg) of Texas Tech, 6-4; Bogut and 6-9 Wayne Simien (20.2, 11.1) of Kansas.

Ross, a 52-percent shooter for the season, averaged 26.0 points in the Red Raiders' two opening NCAA Tournament victories. Redick averaged 26.0 points in nine games against Top 25 competition. And Simien scored 30 points or more in each of a pair of games against Oklahoma State.

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Ross is a 6'-2'' 185-lb. guard who came to Tech as an invited walk-on after a three-year varsity career in high school while Hobbs, New Mexico coach Russ Gilmore's Eagles won three Class 5A State Championships. As a high school senior, he averaged 25.6 points, 4.5 rebounds, 4 steals, and 4 assists per game and earned honors as First Team All-State as a senior and First Team All-South Plains. A First Team All-District selection in both his junior and senior years, Ross was named MVP of the district as a senior and scored 1,130 points in his career.

A nominee for McDonald's All-American team, Ross was selected All-State three times by The Albuquerque Journal and named USA Today and Gatorade Player of the Year for New Mexico. He was a National Honor Society member and New Mexico Honor Scholar, a member of the Black History Club and NEA Read Across America. During his career the Eagles earned a 77-6 record.

Texas Tech, seeded sixth in the Albuquerque regional, meets West Virginia's Mountaineers carrying a match for the Red Raiders' highest seeding under Coach Bob Knight. This marks the team's third NCAA appearance in four seasons and coach Knight's 27th NCAA Tournament appearance, which equals the top mark held by Dean Smith.

It is the first meeting for these two schools. West Virginia will be playing its seventh game in a span of about 15 days against Texas Tech Thursday night. Mountaineer head coach John Beilein doesn't see that being a big problem.

"After we played four games in four nights at the Big East tournament and two of them went right down to the wire I think we're okay," he said. "Everybody has a difficult schedule right now and we did give them a couple of days to rest. Monday we had a very light workout and Tuesday we had a real good workout and we had a real good workout just now so I think we should be okay. With the two and a half minute timeouts because of CBS and the magnitude of these games we have time to regroup."

Beilein is extremely impressed with Texas Tech's athletic pair of guards Ronald Ross and Jarrius Jackson.

"I love my backcourt but this is a dream backcourt," he said. "They take care of the basketball, they don't shoot it unless they're open; all they care about is winning. They guard, they make sure the big guys touch the ball … they're just beautiful to watch play. They're a lot like our guys. A lot of our guys didn't have those scholarships to the big schools and they want to prove it everyday that they belong.

Beilein says his goal when he came to WVU was to recruit good kids first and good basketball players second.

"What we tried to do was to get good kids in here that we could grow with," he said. "This is a funny statement but (kids) that we could lose with. The only way you're going to get better in our situation was to lose and realize what you have to do to get better. With many kids you lose and you get worse because they point fingers and blame somebody else. These kids get better when they lose. You don't want to lose too much but they get better. Through all those hardships of those first two years trying to get their heads above the water they became a pretty good basketball team."

Same goes for Texas Tech, according to Beilein. "They value the basketball, they're a low turnover team, they share the basketball and there is a multitude of passes involved before they take their first shot," Beilein said. "Even though we don't run a complete freelance motion like they do it is the same principle."

After closely studying Knight's Texas Tech team, Beilein just marvels at his system.

"It's much more when you watch it," he said. "It's very, very difficult because they're playing off you -- you're not playing off them. Truthfully, we try and do the same thing but it's not the same. They're difficult prep but that's the way it's going to be this time of year – everybody is difficult."

Gus Johnson will call the play-by-play. Len Elmore will provide the color analysis. Tracy Wolfson will be the sideline reporter. John Harris will call the courtside action for Texas Tech and Chris Cassidy will provide the analysis on KKAM (1340 AM), the flagship station for the Red Raiders.

The Raiders finished the non-conference season with eight wins and three losses and had ten wins and six losses in conference play for 18 wins and nine losses heading into the conference tournament. With wins against Iowa State and Oklahoma and a loss to Oklahoma State in the championship game, the Raiders reached the 20-win mark for the fourth straight season under Coach Knight. Texas Tech defeated UCLA 78-66 in the NCAA First Round in Tucson last Thursday.

Ronald Ross led all scorers with 28 points. Jarrius Jackson added 19 points and six assists. Devonne Giles scored 16 points and had nine rebounds for the Raiders. Dijon Thompson led the Bruins with 22 points as teammate Josh Shipp added 13 points.

In the NCAA Second Round played on Saturday, the Raiders edged the Gonzaga Bulldogs 71-69. Ronald Ross led the Raiders in scoring with 24 points. Jarrius Jackson added 18 points. Martin Zeno chipped in 11 points and Darryl Dora scored 10 points.

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