To prepare for the tip-off of another great year of college basketball, CHD is reaching out to coaches and players around the country to get the inside scoop on what we can expect this time around. Jon Teitel continues our season preview series by chatting with Old Dominion forward Richard Ross about being one of the best shot-blockers in CUSA.
You grew up in Texas: what made you choose ODU? Initially we had a coach named Blaine Taylor who my high school coach had played for, and I just thought it would be a good fit for me.
You play for Coach Jeff Jones: what makes him such a good coach, and what is the most important thing you ever learned from him? It is hard to pick one particular thing because I have learned so much, but one thing I will always remember is that he taught me to always stick to my words: if I say I am going to do something, then I have to go do it. If I have any problems I can always go talk to him: it is nice to have someone I am comfortable being around when I am so far from home.
In the 2012 CIT you scored 19 points (8-9 FG) off the bench including the final five of the game for your team in a 2-point win over Coastal Carolina: where does that game rank among the highlights of your career? It was definitely one of the highlights to come in as a freshman and have the seniors tell me how well I played.
You led the team in rounding last year and ranked second in the conference, averaging 2.3 blocks: what is your secret to blocking shots? I just try to be tenacious and mean about it. I think of myself like a goalie and go after any shot I can.
In the 2014 CBI you scored a career-high 23 points in a win over Radford: how were you able to play your best when it mattered the most? As an older guy with postseason experience, it is refreshing to have a chance for your season to continue.
In the CBI semifinals you scored 9 points in a 7-point loss to Fresno State: what did you learn from that game that you think can help you this year? We just have to learn to take better care of our bodies. It was a long trip out West with a time change that took a toll on some of us, but we have to be ready to go as soon as the ball is tossed up.
Aaron Bacote led your team in points and assists last season: how crucial is he to your team’s success? Extremely. He is really hard to guard because he can score from anywhere on the court. If you do not respect him he will kill you all night, and he also makes the whole team better with his passing.
Your non-conference schedule includes games against Richmond, LSU, and VCU: which of these games do you feel will present your biggest test? Every game will be a test this year, but we worked so hard this summer that I think we are in a position to compete. Everyone has put a star next to the VCU game because we have a big rivalry with them.
You were a track All-American in high school and your parents also did track and field: who is the best athlete in the family? That is a tough one. I will say myself because I have to, but my whole family got after it back in the day!
What are your goals for the upcoming season, and what are your expectations for the upcoming season? My goal is to win 25+ games and make it to the postseason.