The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

Ross rules for now

 Ross rules for now
Ross rules for now

Ross rules for now

I watched Saturday’s game against Rice and experienced the most “unbiased” agony I could muster as SMU relinquished a lead it worked so hard to get. As the shots kept clanking on both ends of the floor and fans began to watch for what Quinton “High Rise” Ross was going to do next, someone said something to me that sickened me in the most thought-provoking way.

“I almost can’t wait until football season,” a spectator said.

This is not a shot at either program. Both are trying to build and recent recruiting successes give the impression that the future is bright for each.

That double-edged insult did two things; it made me yearn for football and cry for basketball.

Ross is the most positive floor leader that SMU has had in any senior student’s tenure here. We came in with Stephen Woods, but his shining knack for putting the ball in the basket was overshadowed by Jeryl Sasser’s afro.

Sasser never met a shot he didn’t like and never made a mistake. Upon Sasser’s departure, SMU was left with Damon Hancock as its leader.

Hancock was billed the heir apparent to lead this program, except for one small detail: no one wanted to follow him. He was exposed as not much more than a crossover and floater in the lane and SMU had an average season.

Under Ross, SMU still struggles to stay afloat at times. The difference is that they are struggling, i.e. fighting. Ross always stays positive on the court, rarely complains and believes in his teammates.

Listed at 6-feet-5-inches and weighing 195 pounds, Ross has worked hard on getting stronger. He takes the ball to the basket relentlessly and takes whatever punishment comes with it. His 28 percent long-range efficiency is a career low, yet he’s still scoring. SMU fans have seen the evolution of a leader and a basketball player.

Ross no longer settles for the three. He now goes up with both hands on the ball with all intentions of finishing a play or getting fouled. And his defense is pretty good, too, according to those All-WAC people.

In a perfect world, SMU will win the WAC Tournament and an automatic bid to the Big Dance. Ross will get the national stage and even more importantly, a team that has never quit will live childhood dreams.

With the imminent return of Chris Cunningham, I admit to having dreams about Richard Bartel finding Comet streaking down the sideline. I really am ready for football. But when that time comes, the thought that Quinton Ross will no longer be the leader on the hardwood makes me apprehensive about the era.

After May, Bryan Hopkins and Justin Isham have some pretty big blue patent leather Adidas to fill. There is no doubt that both or either player has the talent to do so, but when we watch Ross’ last home game Saturday, SMU fans everywhere should be anxious for football season, soccer season or any other season. Because Ross’ departure will ensure sad days in athletics until then.

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