Wells College men's basketball sophomore guard Rich Ross was voted by league coaches as the North Eastern Athletic Conference Player of the Year for the 2016-17 season. Ross was also named to the all-conference First Team. It is the second year in a row that Ross has been named to the All-NEAC First Team.
Ross had a sensational sophomore season for the Express. He helped lead the team to the second-best record in program history as the Express finished with a 17-9 record. Wells qualified for the NEAC playoffs for the second consecutive year with a 14-4 conference mark, which is the best NEAC record in school history.
"Over his freshman season and continuing to this year, Ross has proven himself to be one of the very best players in our conference and makes an impact on every game despite receiving the highest defensive attention of every opposing team we face," Wells head coach Joe Wojtylko said. "Rich's individual achievement helped our team have success this year."
Ross averaged 21.7 points per game over 26 games this season. In NEAC play, Ross averaged 22.7 points per game in 18 games. He led the conference in 3-pointers made with 81. He ranked third in the conference in scoring average and was in the top-15 in the conference in steals per game, assists per game, and defensive rebounds per game. Ross shot 40.7 percent from the field, 34.6 percent from 3-point territory, and 79.9 percent from the free-throw line.
On Feb. 17 against St. Elizabeth, Ross became the program's all-time leading scorer and surpassed the 1,000-career-points milestone. Ross earned NEAC Student-Athlete of the Week recognition three times during the year and was named to the D3hoops.com National Team of the Week on Jan. 9, 2017.
It is the first time in Wells history that an Express player has earned NEAC Player of the Year honors, and Ross is the third player to earn back-to-back NEAC First Team recognition.