Men's Hoops Signs a Pair to National Letters of Intent

November 13, 2009
By ODU Athletics
ODU Sports

Nov. 13, 2009

NORFOLK, Va. -- Head coach Blaine Taylor and the ODU men's basketball team announced the signing of two players to National Letters of Intent today, Dimitri Batten (Newport News, Va.) and Richard Ross (Wichita Falls, Texas).

"I couldn't be more pleased with the two kids we attracted to our program this fall," said Taylor. "They are really good kids, coachable kids; young men that really fit in well here academically and of course, talent-wise."

Batten, a Hampton Roads native, will come to Old Dominion as a 6-3 guard from Kecoughtan High School. In his junior season, he averaged 21 points per game, adding seven boards, six assists and three steals per contest. Batten is a two-time All-Peninsula player for the Canes.

TAYLOR ON BATTEN: A guard, what I like about him is that he plays with so much effort and so much enthusiasm, a toughness. He's a guy who I think will be a very strong defender, very exciting with the basketball and a guy who's skills are going to develop immeasurably the next few years. He's 6-3, about 190, so he's going to be a pretty stout weapon to utilize.

Also joining the Monarchs in 2010 will be 6-6 forward Richard Ross. Ross currently plays for Coach Don Hedge at Hirschi HS in Wichita Falls, Texas; Hedge played for Coach Taylor during his time at the University of Montana. A two-time First Team All-District in his sophomore and junior years, he was also named 2009 Offensive Player of the Year in the district. He has averaged a double-double in each of the last two seasons and also finished second in the state track meet in the high jump (6'10").

TAYLOR ON ROSS: Richard Ross has been described as a high flyer and that's very very, very accurate if you consider his high jumping ability in track and on the basketball court. If you have someone who has averaged the type of numbers he has rebounding, he can obviously go up and get the basketball. I think his skills will develop and of course at 6-6, 205 lbs, he's going to be a very physical presence at the wing position.

"I think they've got a real upside and future as players and really fit our needs. You add another guard, you basically add another mid-size player similar to Jonathan Adams and then you add in the fact that we are attempting to redshirt Josh Hicks and Anton Larsen, well that would be an awfully nice class of four freshmen. I think that both kids were taken by their teammates, of course, but also Old Dominion at this time is a pretty eye-opening place to take a look at and consider being a part of," Taylor finished.