Marcellus Ross’ Journey to the Prof’s Starting Lineup

Rowan's Marcellus Ross dribbling past a TCNJ defender. Ross has been one of Rowan's top performers this season. Wednesday, Jan. 19, 2022. - Multimedia Editor / Lee Kotzen

As one of the most prestigious sports programs at Rowan University, the men’s basketball team makes it a priority to fill out its roster with talented and exciting players every year.

That is no exception this season, as the 2021-2022 roster is full of gifted athletes with stories to be told. One member of the team that has been the headlining name of many recent games for the Profs is Marcellus Ross. 

Ross is a 6’3” guard from Sicklerville, N.J. who is in the midst of his first season at Rowan. He is a transfer from Caldwell University, where he played 25 games during the 2019-2020 season. 

Even before entering the college basketball scene, Ross has been working on perfecting his game for as long as he can remember.

“Since I was first born, I have pretty much had a basketball in my hands,” Ross said. “I’ve played basketball for as long as I can remember, and it is just something I fell in love with. It was something I was good at and came natural, so I just kept building on that, which is where my passion comes from.”

Not only has Ross been a basketball player for much of his life, but he has also been both a fan and student of the game.

“Joe Johnson, Klay Thompson and Paul George are the main three players I looked up to,” Ross said. “Currently, though, Devin Booker is my favorite player.”

Much like Booker in his first season, Ross began this year’s campaign coming off of the bench as the team’s sixth man. However, injuries to his teammates have thrusted him into the starting lineup, which has been a role that Ross has embraced and excelled in.

In his last nine games as a starter, Ross has averaged 22.1 points and led the Profs to a 7-2 record. When asked about his new role with the team, Ross was confident and gave credit to his teammates for their collective success. 

“I’ve been starting my whole life,” Ross said. “So when I got into the starting lineup, it was pretty simple and an easy adjustment. With the teammates I have, it was pretty easy because we were together all summer and built that bond. The way I play basketball, unselfishly, I can get other people the basketball and still score.”

While Ross appears confident in his own abilities, his coaches match him with the same faith. The revamped starting lineup has been built around Ross having the ball in his hands, which is largely because his head coach, Joe Crispin, believes in his star player.

“[Marcellus] is expected to be great because, well, he is a great player,” Coach Crispin said. “He is such a dangerous weapon from three and figures out ways to score, but he is also a great defender. I’ve enjoyed just seeing him develop because he came as a transfer where he wasn’t getting a lot of shots, but here, he has the neon green light and has embraced it.”

Based on what the coaching staff has both told and shown us, it is hard to imagine that Ross will be moving anywhere away from his current role with the team. With still two years left of playing eligibility for Ross, it is likely that Rowan fans will be treated to plenty more big games and moments from the scoring guard.

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