If a team tries to lock down Jake Ross all game he’ll adjust and find open men down low and on the perimeter. If a team plays too soft on Ross he’ll adjust and finish with 30 points.
What’s the best way to shut down Ross? Teams, including Coast Guard, still haven’t figured it out.
Springfield defeated Coast Guard, 95-69, on Wednesday night for the team’s eighth straight victory. Ross led the team with 22 points, 12 rebounds, and 10 assists. Ross’s triple-double was the first for the program since Ryan Coburn achieved the feat in 2010.
“We have had to spend a lot of time in practice doing things to anticipate what teams are going to try and do to take him (Jake) out (of the game) like doubling him and playing box-and-one,” said Springfield head coach Charlie Brock. “I think he’s gifted in finding open people. He is outstanding at finding the open man.”
Senior Ben Diamond was inserted into the starting lineup for the first time in his collegiate career.
“Our anticipated matchups for them was such that Ben gave us an opportunity to match up better with them,” said Brock. “They were gonna go smaller. So, that was our intent. It also wasn’t our intent to not play Kevin (Durkin) or (Brandon) Eckles for that matter. But initially it was a better matchup situation for us.”
Cam Earle continued his hot shooting streak by coming out of the gate with a smooth stroke behind the three-point line. By the end of the first half he led all scorers with 16 points. He finished with 20 points.
Earle has become more comfortable in the team’s system game by game.
“On offense it is good to run through the plays and to know where I am going to be by the end of it before it happens,” said Earle. “That allows me to get in a good mindset of when my shots are going to come.
At halftime the score sat at 50-32, Pride. Starting in the second half, Coast Guard attempted to double team Springfield at mid-court. Andy McNulty was able to make good passes with men draped on him to open shooters on the perimeter to break the press and extend the lead.
On top of Ross’ impressive night shooting, rebounding, and passing; he also had five steals in the game.
With an eight-game win streak and an 8-1 NEWMAC conference record to their name, it would be easy for Springfield to get ahead of themselves and look down the road.
Brock makes sure every day and every practice to keep his guys focused on the task at hand.
“It is totally one game at a time. We are trying to drum into them immediately after this one that we have to get ready for Emerson on Saturday. We are taking one day at a time and one practice at a time.”