Josh Ross already leads Detroit Catholic Central men’s basketball

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As Josh Ross walked off the field Tuesday afternoon at Macomb Community College, the Detroit Catholic Central senior looked behind him to his left, then he looked to his right.

“Yeah, I’m alone here,” the 6-foot-5, 225-pound forward said with a smile.

It can happen when you get seven senior graduates from a men’s basketball team that wasn’t just the Catholic League tournament runner-up but also a Division 1 quarter-finalist.

Ross is the only remaining big man with considerable experience from last year’s team. He was usually the first or second player to come off the bench, depending on a game’s scenario. But he deserved to be there.

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The Shamrocks have promising talent in the position. And judging by the hustle and bustle of 6-foot-10 center Joey Naasko during The D Zone Shootout showcase, the elder will also be offering help.

Detroit Catholic Central's Josh Ross rebounds during the Area D Boys Basketball Showcase against Ferndale University on Tuesday, June 14, 2022 at Macomb Community College.

But, right now, it’s Ross who’s No. 1 on that part of any opposing team’s scouting report. The “keys to winning the rebound battle” portion of the report will have Ross’s name double-underlined and in bold type. Teams will want to stop him.

Keep Ross off the boards, and you’ll prevent him from getting throwbacks and counterattacks

If you can, that is.

The Shamrocks went 3-0 that day at the Macomb CC Sports and Expo Center.

Their last game, a blistering 58-38 win, saw Ferndale University at times double and triple Team Ross in rebounds. He still has the boards. He still reached the line. And he always kept games alive for the Shamrocks.

There’s no doubt who will be fighting in the paint for CC next winter.

“It’s his turn,” coach Brandon Sinawi said. “He’s definitely earned it and he’s got every chance to be great. He’ll be captain for us next year and he’s excited about it. He’s been in the weight room. He’s bided his time.

“His bread and butter is going to be in the painted area, but his athleticism is going to surprise people on the wing, and we’re definitely looking to make him more acclimatized when it comes to playing outside. I can’t play him 24, 26 minutes a game in position because he wants to play in college, but there will be times when he’s needed inside, and he’ll be a double-double threat there.

“He can go for the glass and he’s got good movement inside. He’s so strong and relentless when it comes to offensive rebounds and keeping plays alive. He’s going to get a ton of minutes this year. ”

Ross transferred to CC from Berkley as a rookie and spent half a season on the JV.

But he’s been in college ever since.

And he actually saw his minutes go down a year ago because of CC’s talent.

Detroit Catholic Central's Josh Ross shoots during the Area D boys' basketball showcase against Ferndale University on Tuesday, June 14, 2022 at Macomb Community College.

Oakland University signee Cooper Craggs brought both inside and outside presence to the power forward, while small forward Kam Mayes had a breakout year as a ball handler, shooter and, sometimes, striker at the bottom.

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Sprinkle in one-on-one play from the other seniors as well as shooter TJ Nadeau and former CC point guard Chas Lewless, and this recipe does less minutes for your stereotypical type of striker Tyler Hansbrough that Ross plays with.

But it is okay. Ross enjoyed learning with Craggs, Mayes and the other two senior starters.

“It’s hard (to be alone now) because I love those guys,” Ross said. “But we’re going to have to change the way we play this year. I grew up looking to these guys as my mentors, and now it’s kind of my turn to play that role, and I’m excited. I’ve always wanted this chance. Personally, I knew I had it in me, so I’m ready to go.

“I’m screwed for this year.”

The Shamrocks, who were 16-9 overall last winter, return Nadeau, who was their leading scorer, and they welcome as a junior Uchenna Amene, a junior point guard who transferred from powerhouse D-4 Southfield Christian .

Many around CHSL will view CC as a team in a rebuild.

Detroit Catholic Central's Josh Ross attacks the basket during the Area D boys' basketball showcase against Ferndale University on Tuesday, June 14, 2022, at Macomb Community College.

If Ross can be the double-double machine that Sinawai predicts, the Shamrocks will upset some teams. And Sinawi expects another district title with this younger team.

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“It’s going to be an effort thing,” Ross added. “I think we can definitely compete with those kind of guys. It will be really interesting to see how we play them and how the team does.”

Ross didn’t miss an effort at The D Zone Shootout. Ask Williamston, Clarkston and Ferndale University. He was all over the boards.

Brandon Folsom covers high school sports in metro Detroit for Hometown Life. Follow him on Twitter @folsombrandonj.



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