Former New Mexico State guard K.C. Ross-Miller will transfer to Auburn, according to multiple media reports on Monday night.
The 6-foot-1 guard is eligible to play immediately for head coach Bruce Pearl. Ross-Miller averaged 8.3 points, 2.2 rebounds and 3.5 assists per game this past season for New Mexico State. He announced his decision to transfer on March 30.
Ross-Miller’s career with the Aggies did not end on good terms. During the closing moments of a loss to Utah Valley, Ross-Miller was involved in a post-game altercation, including not only members from both teams, but fans who had rushed the court. He was suspended two games for his actions by the WAC, though, that extended throughout the remainder of the season.
New Mexico State rallied off five straight wins following the incident on Feb. 27, and reached the NCAA tournament. Ross-Miller did not travel with the team, and the Aggies were defeated by No. 4 seed San Diego State in the Round of 64.
Ross-Miller joins an incoming class that includes JuCo power forward Cinmeon Bowers, a former Florida State signee, Rivals 150 small forward Sam Logwood and Jack Purchase, a 6-foot-9 forward from Australia.
On February 27 New Mexico State’s game at Utah Valley ended in violent fashion, with some of the Wolverine fans who rushed the court to celebrate their team’s overtime victory getting in a fight with some NMSU players. One of the players involved was guard K.C. Ross-Miller, who hit Utah Valley’s Holton Hunsaker with the basketball just after time expired.
For his actions Ross-Miller was originally suspended for two games, but that contest would end up being his final game of the season. And according to a report from Jeff Goodman of ESPN.com Ross-Miller’s New Mexico State career has come to an end, as he’ll transfer and will be eligible to play next season.
As a redshirt sophomore Ross-Miller started in 20 of the 30 games he played, averaging 8.3 points and 3.5 assists per contest. Ross-Miller, who at one point in time verbally committed to attend Kentucky (during the Billy Gillispie era), shot 43.7% from the field and 39.3% from beyond the arc. His best individual performance came in a win at UTEP in late November, as he accounted for 26 points, six assists and just two turnovers.
Without Ross-Miller even more of the playmaking responsibilities fell upon the shoulders of guard Daniel Mullings, who won WAC Player of the Year honors. Mullings, who will be a senior next season, averaged 16.8 points, 4.9 rebounds and 3.5 assists per game as a junior. In addition to Mullings the Aggies are expected to return DK Eldridge, who won WAC Newcomer of the Year honors, and underclassmen Ian Baker and Travon Landry.
By now the footage of the post-game brawl that marred a competitive game between New Mexico State and Utah Valley has made the rounds, with the incident masking the fact that the Wolverines took a step towards the WAC regular season title with a 66-61 overtime victory.
What got things going in the wrong direction was New Mexico State guard KC Ross-Miller throwing the basketball at Utah Valley’s Holton Hunsaker just after the final horn, leaving members of both teams scrambling to either defend their teammates or diffuse a potentially explosive situation. Add in the students rushing the floor to celebrate with the team and sure enough punches were thrown by Aggie players and even a couple Utah Valley fans.
Friday afternoon the WAC announced that Ross-Miller would be suspended two games and teammate Renaldo Dixon one due to their roles in the melee. Both players will miss Saturday’s game against Bakersfield, with Ross-Miller also suspended for the Aggies’ game against Grand Canyon on March 6.
“There obviously is no place in the Western Athletic Conference or intercollegiate athletics as a whole for the unfortunate events that took place at the conclusion of Thursday night’s game,” WAC commissioner Jeff Hurd said in a statement announcing the suspensions. “And I appreciate the excellent cooperation that I have received from both institutions in my review of what occurred.”
“While the suspensions handed down are appropriate for the actions of the involved student-athletes, there will be a continued review of other incidents that occurred as a result of fans rushing the court. There are obvious safety and security issues that need to be addressed, and I also have requested additional games management information from Utah Valley University.
“Finally, the situation could have been much worse if it had not been for outstanding effort of both the New Mexico State and Utah Valley coaching staffs. They were instrumental in separating their student-athletes from what could have been an even uglier situation.”
As for the fans, once again whether or not they should be allowed to rush the court is a topic of discussion. But instead of debating which programs should do it, the debate centers on fan/player safety and whether or not schools do enough to ensure no interactions between fans and visiting players. And in some circles, there’s a desire to see the NCAA ban court storming once and for all.