It was obvious that Delaware had been building a roster for this season. Their enforcer in the paint was a talented senior in Jamelle Hagins. Their leading scorer, who also led the entire CAA in scoring, was a swagger-filled junior in Devon Saddler. Their change of pace guy, a perimeter player who can dominate stretches of games when their inside out duo goes cold or subs out, Jarvis Threatt, was an energetic sophomore who had nothing to lose.
This was it. And, Ross denied it.
“I’m not going to put that type of pressure on the guys,” Ross said following Delaware’s 62-57 win over the Pride. “We’ve been building [the roster]. We recruited well last year. These guys have taken major steps this year. I think these guys would like to do something special in terms of winning a semifinal game tomorrow.
“All or nothing, I don’t like to talk in those terms.”
However, that’s not the story now in Newark, Del. Athletic director Eric Ziady told Kevin Tresloni of delawareonline.com that only receiving a bid to the NCAA Tournament or NIT bid would acceptable following what he deemed a successful season. With Delaware (19-14) coming short of the automatic NCAA bid that came with a CAA Tournament and an NIT bid not likely, Delaware has also decided they will reject an offer to appear in the CBI or CIT tournament this postseason.
“It was a situation where, the disappointing way the season ended, I talked with Monte and we didn’t think we’d get a heck of a lot out of it,” Ziady told Tresolini at the Show Place Arena, where he watched Delaware’s women beat Hofstra.
So, Delaware has nothing to play for without appearing in the NCAAs or NIT? That kind of sounds like this year was all or nothing.