Mizzou Announces Auburn Transfer Earnest Ross
COLUMBIA - Mizzou Basketball Head Coach Frank Haith announced that Earnest Ross, Auburn University's 2011 Most Valuable Player, has received his release from the Southeastern Conference school and has signed a grant-in-aid agreement with the University of Missouri.
Ross will sit out the 2011-12 season as part of NCAA transfer guidelines, but will have two seasons of eligibility remaining, beginning with the 2012-13 campaign.
The 6-foot-5, 215-pound guard will give Missouri great depth in practice this season, but more importantly, adds size to the backcourt for the following seasons with the impending graduation of seniors Marcus Denmon, Kim English, Matt Pressey and Jarrett Sutton.
Ross was the SEC's most-improved scorer in 2010-11, elevating his point production from 2.8 points per game as a freshman to 13.1 points as a sophomore. He led the Tigers in scoring 13 times last season, including a career high 30 points on 5-of-7 three-point shooting in an overtime loss at Georgia. The Cary, N.C., native topped the 20-point plateau five times as a second-year player and reached double figures in 22 of 31 games, while making 27 starts.
"We are excited to have Earnest join the family here at Mizzou," Head Coach Frank Haith said. "I had a chance to watch Earnest as a high school player and have been extremely impressed with his improvement over the last few years. He is a young man that is dedicated to the game and will have a chance to make a big impact here at Missouri. Most importantly, Earnest is a great young man. His parents are a part of the United States Navy, so he is disciplined and driven to succeed."
Ross showed great consistency over his final eight regular season games, averaging 16.1 points and 6.5 rebounds, while hitting 17-of-35 three-point attempts. He led the Tigers in rebounding last year, grabbing 6.6 caroms per night to rank among the league's Top 15. In addition to his steady scoring numbers he ranked eighth in the league with 1.4 steals and boasted six double-doubles, ninth overall in the SEC and tops among perimeter players. Ross finished the year leading Auburn in rebounding 14 times, including a career high 13 boards vs. Alabama on Jan. 22, 2011.
Ross is Missouri's first four-year transfer to enter the program since Zaire Taylor in 2007. Taylor transferred to Mizzou from Delaware. The last SEC transfer to Mizzou was DeMarre Carroll, who also joined the program after his sophomore campaign at Vanderbilt in 2006.