Ross Headed To Springfield For NCAA D3 Hoops
SPRINGFIELD, MA – The SUNY Canton men’s basketball team is headed to Springfield, MA for the NCAA Tournament First Round on Friday, March 6, 2020 in the program’s first NCAA Tournament appearance.
The Roos will square off with the host Pride on Friday at 7:30 p.m. Springfield College is hosting a four-team pod for the NCAA First and Second Rounds. Hobart College and the College of St. Joseph’s (CT) will square off in another first round game on Friday at 5 p.m. The winners of each game will meet on Saturday at 7:30 p.m. also at Springfield College, with the winner advancing to the NCAA Sweet Sixteen.
TICKETS Tickets are $12 for adults, $7 for students and seniors, and children age 2 and under are free. Tickets will be on sale on gamedays at the entrance of Blake Arena. There will be no presale of tickets. Student tickets are permissible for grade school, high-school and college students with identification.
Both video and live stats will be available for the games this weekend. The links for both of SUNY Canton’s Friday games v. Springfield are below.
HOW THE ROOS GOT HERE SUNY Canton comes into the tournament 16-11 overall after a 10-4 season in the North Atlantic Conference (NAC). The Roos defeated Husson University 89-81 in the semifinals before earning a thrilling 72-71 victory v. top seed and host Maine Farmington in the championship. Joseph Werner was named the NAC Tournament’s Most Valuable Player, while Danny Santana and George Nehma also earned spots on the All-Tournament Team.
Six players averaged nearly seven points a game or more in Santana (14.6), Quran DuBois (13.7), Werner (9.5), Andrew Fitch (9.0), Nehma (7.4) and Juztin Chambers-Phillips (6.9). Werner leads the Roos averaging 9.5 rebounds per game, while Fitch hauls down 7.7 a game.
RANKING AMONG THE NATION’S BEST The Roos rank 4th nationally in field goal percentage defense (37.8), 5th in total blocks (151) and blocked shots per game (5.6), 6th in defensive rebounds per game (31.56), 9th in total rebounds (1,184) and 11th in total rebounds per game (43.85).
Fitch ranks 2nd in the country in blocked shots per game (3.52) and total blocks (88). Werner is 28th in D-III in offensive rebounds per game (3.59) and 29th in total rebounds (257). Meanwhile, DuBois is 29th in the country with 58 steals.
FOUR ROOS NAMED ALL-CONFERENCE
Four players earned NAC All-Conference honors for the Roos headlined by Fitch earning NAC Defensive Player of the Year honors for the second straight season. Fitch and DuBois earned First Team All-Conference honors, while Werner and Santana picked up Second Team accolades.
Springfield: The Pride enter the tournament after claiming the New England Women’s and Men’s Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) regular-season title, a conference which has four teams who reached the national tournament this season. Springfield enters the tournament 22-4 overall after an 11-1 mark in the NEWMAC this season. The Pride were upset by eventual NEWMAC champion Coast Guard Academy in the semifinals.
Springfield has been led all season by the senior duo of Jake Ross and Heath Post. Ross is averaging 26.3 points per game to go along with 9.8 rebounds, while Post is totaling 17.8 points and 10.7 boards per game. This marks the eighth time that head coach Charlie Brock has led the Pride to the NCAA Tournament. Springfield last hosted an NCAA First Round game in 2013, while the team made a historic run to the Final Four in 2018.
The Pride rank 4th nationally in fewest turnovers (260), 5th in turnovers per game (10.0) and 8th in free-throw percentage (77.6). Ross is 7th in the country in points per game (26.3) and total points (683) and eighth in total field goals made (236). Meanwhile, Post is fifth in defensive rebounds per game (8.81). Post has 16 double-doubles, which is 10th nationally, while Ross has 15, which ranks him 14th.
Hobart: The Statesmen (21-5) are coming off a semifinal appearance in the 2020 Liberty League Tournament, falling 80-72 to Ithaca College. HC made a three-peat of NCAA Tournament appearances from 2012-2014. They also appeared in 2001. The Statesmen won the LL Championship in three of those seasons (2001, 2013-14).
Tucker Lescoe (13.4), Jackson Meshanic (13.4), Dan Masino (12.4), Daniel Cook (9.3) and Edens Fleurizard (8.3) all averaged better than eight points per game in a balanced offense for Hobart. Meshanic ranks 8th nationally in field goal percentage (65.5).
Like the Roos, the Statesmen are sound defensively ranking first in the country in field goal percentage defense (36.5). Hobart is also first in rebound margin (12.7), 2nd in three-point field goal defense (27.7) and 6th in scoring defense (62.0).
Saint Joseph: The No. 17 nationally-ranked Blue Jays (26-2) defeated Albertus Magnus College, 88-84, in a rematch of the Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC) Championship Sunday. The Blue Jays are currently on a 25-game win streak, including a perfect 11-0 mark in the GNAC, becoming the second school in GNAC men's basketball history to do so (Albertus Magnus 2012, 2015). USJ is making its first appearance in the NCAA Tournament, in just its second-ever season.
Delshawn Jackson Jr. leads five scorers in double figures with 22.0 points per outing. Jordan Powell (15.3), Jaecee Martin (14.6), Taelon Martin (11.0) and Ryan O’Neill (10.3) all averaged double figures in scoring for a team that is 9th in the country in scoring offense (90.4 PPG).
The Blue Jays rank first in the country outscoring their opponents by an average of 19.3 points per game. They are also 2nd nationally in field goal percentage (51.8) and 3rd in rebound margin (11.2) and total rebounds (1,232). Powell is second nationally in field goal percentage (70.3).
USJ is coached by former University of Connecticut and three-time NCAA Division I national champion coach Jim Calhoun.