Thursday, we learned that former Texas Tech basketball great Ronald Ross will be inducted into the Texas Tech Sports Hall of Fame this fall.
Ronald Ross has now gone from walk-on to Hall of Famer. Thursday, the Double T Varsity Club announced that the Hobbs, NM product, who had to pay his own way for this first year on campus, will be part of the 2020 class of the Texas Tech Sports Hall of Fame.
The point guard, who played from 2001-05 ended his career with 1,174 points, 400 rebounds, 320 assists, and 204 steals. He sits 26th in Texas Tech basketball history in scoring and he ranks third all-time in steals per game by a Red Raider with 1.38.
As a senior, he was one of the best players in the nation. He put up 17.5 points, 5.5 rebounds, 3.0 assists, and 2.6 steals per game to earn first-team All-Big 12 honors.
Of course, that year he also led his team to the Sweet 16, the first time Texas Tech has been past the first weekend of the NCAA Tournament since 1996. It remains one of only four times that the program has ventured that far in the NCAA Tournament since the field was expanded to 64 teams.
No player during the Bob Knight era of the program improved more than Ross. As a true freshman, he mustered just 3.1 points per game and as a sophomore, that average rose to just 4.6.
But in 2003-04, Ross broke out. Starting 31 of 34 games, he averaged 10.1 points, 3.1 assists, and 1.5 steals per game. That paved the way for a senior campaign that still ranks as one of the best in Texas Tech basketball history.
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There may be no player in the modern era of Red Raider hoops to personify the grit and blue-collar attitude that the program has come to be defined by. Playing a non-stop, hard-nosed style of basketball on both ends of the floor, Ross became a fan favorite during his time in Lubbock.
That style of play is also why he was a perfect fit to join head coach Chris Beard’s staff as a graduate assistant for the last two years. Beard loves to talk about wanting his team to have a “street dog” mentality and that would be the perfect way to describe how Ross played the game.
“I’m not sure that in all my time in coaching, in all the years and all the teams that I’ve coached, that there’s been a better story than Ronald Ross,” Knight said back in 2005.
However, Knight almost never got an opportunity to coach Ross. After assistant coach Pat Knight saw Ross play in high school, he was so impressed that he made calls to several JUCO programs trying to find a place for the 6-foot-2 guard being as Texas Tech has no scholarships available.
But there were no takers and Ross was invited to walk-on for Knight. The rest is Texas Tech basketball history.
Now, Ross is set to become a Texas Tech Sports Hall of Famer. That’s fitting because few players, regardless of sport, have better personified what being a Red Raider is all about.