OTTUMWA — Two former Indian Hills Community College basketball players signed letters of intent to play Division 1 college basketball next season in the on a rain-soaked Wednesday afternoon at Hellyer Student Life Center.
Rawane Ndiaye will play for the University of Tennessee and Ronald Ross will take his 3-point shooting prowess to Middle Tennessee State University.
“With Pops (the nickname given to Ndiaye by teammates and coaches), size is so hard to come by, when he got healthy ... He became a real popular commodity,” Indian Hills coach Barret Peery said. “He was slowed a bit by his broken foot early in the year, but once he got healthy, he really contributed.
“With Ronald, I think that they [Middle Tennnesse State] have had really good success with guards, especially junior college guards. He can handle and receive the ball.”
Ndiaye was persuaded to become a part of the Volunteer basketball program after he visited the campus last weekend.
“The main thing was I liked the teammates, I liked the coaching staff,” said the former Warrior, affectionately known as Pops. “They are all about work and dedication.”
Ross, who averaged 14.5 points this past season and led the team in 3-point shooting and steals, said Blue Raiders coach Kermit Davis’, the winningest coach in the history of the Sun Belt Conference who was named the District 24 2013 coach of the year by the National Association of Basketball Coaches, proven ability to develop guards from the JUCO level was one thing that enticed him to join the MTS program.
“I feel like I can come in right away and make an impact,” Ross said. “I fell in love with the campus, too.”
Ross, who was named to the second-team all-region team, said he could help his team on both ends of the floor. On offense, he cited his shooting and ball handling abilities along with his ability to make his teammates better as three intangibles that could potentially bolster the Blue Raiders offense. Defensively, Ross, channeling the high-intensity defense he learned at Indian Hills, said he would focus on getting after it on every possession.