Baldwin City, Kan. - April 24, 2018 -Small College Basketball announced that Springfield College's Jake Ross (Northampton, Mass.) was one of 13 finalists from across the nation for the 2018 Bevo Francis Award, which recognizes the finest men's basketball player in the country who competes in the affiliations of NCAA Division II, NCAA Division III, NAIA Division I, NAIA Division II, USCAA and NCCAA.
The committee chose the elite group from over 1,100 colleges and universities and took into consideration individual statistics, previous awards, milestones and team success.
"Our committee has done a tremendous job of research about our finalists. Clearly, this is a very impressive list of finalists," said SCB Founder John McCarthy. "On behalf of the University of Rio Grande, Sheward-Fulks Insurance and the entire committee, I would like to congratulate each and every one of our finalists. There are over 1,100 schools competing at the small college level, and to be among 13 finalists for the prestigious Bevo Francis Award is quite an accomplishment."
The 13 finalists included Zach Hankins (Ferris State), Kyle Steigenga (Cornerstone), Justin Reyes (STAC), Justin Pitts (NW MO State), Emanuel Terry (Lincoln Memorial), Tanner Omlid (Western Oregon), Tyheim Monroe (Cabrini), Ryan Imhoff (Carroll), Deion McClenton (Keiser), David Chavlovich (West Texas A&M), Dustin Sleva (Shippensburg), Haywood Highsmith (Wheeling Jesuit). Terry was selected as the third-ever winner of the honor.
Thanks to his play on the court, Springfield College earned its first-ever trip to the NCAA Division III Championship Final Four following a remarkable postseason run and finished the year ranked No. 4 in the country in the D3hoops.com National Poll. The Recreation Management major finished the season with playing the most minutes of any player at the Division III level (1092:00) and attempted the most field goals (553). Ross concluded the year with the second-most made field goals (274) and total points (768) among the 5,000-plus Division III student-athletes who play men's basketball, while also ranking seventh in double doubles (17), 10th in total rebounds (303), 11th in free throws made (157), and 13th in steals (72).
Following a sensational sophomore season, Ross has garnered a number of accolades, including the New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) Men's Basketball Athlete of the Year and Co-Defensive Player of the Year. He was also chosen to the NABC All-District First Team and the 2018 NABC Coaches' Division III All-America Third Team, as well as to the D3hoops.com All-America Second Team, D3hoops.com Northeast Player of the Year, and to the D3hoops.com Northeast Region First Team.