Rhode Island Men's Basketball 2015 NIT Tournament Capsule

Rhode Island Rams
Atlantic 10 (22-9, 13-5)


The 2013-2014 campaign was not a good one for Rhode Island, but Coach Dan Hurley knew that his team was young and they were going to get better. And they did. Going from 5-11 in the Atlantic 10 to a team competing for a conference title is an impressive turnaround. The Rams have finally put an end to their little streak of postseason misses that stretches back to their CBI appearance in 2011.

Big Wins: 1/31 George Washington (59-55), 2/8 at Richmond (79-74), 2/18 Massachusetts (75-59)
Bad Losses: 11/30 vs Georgia Tech (61-64), 1/17 at Massachusetts (56-60), 2/11 at St. Joseph’s (64-65)
Coach: Dan Hurley

Why They Can Surprise:
Sophomores E.C. Matthews and Hassan Martin have been the most impactful players for Rhode Island this season. Matthews, a 6-5 guard, can run the offense, but he can also shoot. With Jarvis Garrett, T.J. Buchanan and Biggie Minnis also capable of running the show, Matthews is certainly better suited to play off of the ball so he can get open looks from long range and use his size and strength to finish around the basket. Martin had a great freshman year in 2013-2014, but the 2014-2015 campaign went even better. Martin not only boosted his scoring to 11.4 points per game, he also averaged 7.6 rebounds and 3.0 blocks as a sophomore. With Gilvydas Biruta by his side, Rhode Island has a solid frontcourt and a very dangerous backcourt.

Why They Can Disappoint:
Success or failure in the postseason will likely depend on the three-point line. The Rams have an amazing perimeter defense and that will have to continue in the tournament. The opposition has knocked down just 27.3 percent of their attempts from long range. Rhode Island wants to play games in the 60’s and allowing a few too many three-pointers could be the end of the road. With that low scoring basketball, Coach Dan Hurley does not rely heavily on three-point shooters on offense. In fact, Matthews is really the only player on the team who is a long range threat. If things start getting out of control, this is not a team that can come back quickly by shooting the ball.

Probable Starters:
Jarvis Garrett, Freshman, Guard, 6.3 ppg, 2.6 apg
Jared Terrell, Freshman, Guard, 9.1 ppg, 1.5 apg
E.C. Matthews, Sophomore, Guard, 16.7 ppg, 1.9 apg, 4.5 rpg
Hassan Martin, Sophomore, Forward, 11.4 ppg, 7.6 rpg, 3.0 bpg
Gilvydas Biruta, Senior, Forward, 8.3 ppg, 4.7 rpg

Key Roleplayers:
T.J. Buchanan, Senior, Guard, 5.7 ppg, 2.6 apg
Biggie Minnis, Junior, Guard, 3.4 ppg, 2.2 apg
Jarelle Reischel, Junior, Forward, 3.1 ppg, 1.9 rpg
Earl Watson, Junior, Center, 2.7 ppg, 2.4 rpg

By the Numbers:
Scoring Offense: 67.4 (170th in nation, 6th in conference)
Scoring Defense: 59.4 (19, 1)
Field-Goal Percentage: 45.4 (82, 3)
Field-Goal Defense: 41.0 (85, 2)
Three-Point Field Goals Per Game: 4.2 (337, 13)  
Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: 28.5 (336, 14)
Free-Throw Percentage: 65.0 (301, 11)
Rebound Margin: 3.6 (70, 3)
Assists Per Game: 13.1 (140, 6)
Turnovers Per Game: 13.7 (268, 10)

Recent Postseason Appearances:
2011    CBI    First Round win over Miami of Ohio
2011    CBI    Second Round loss to UCF
2010    NIT    First Round win over Northwestern
2010    NIT    Second Round win over Nevada
2010    NIT    Quarterfinal win over Virginia Tech
2010    NIT    Semifinal loss to North Carolina
2009    NIT    First Round win over Niagara
2009    NIT    Second Round loss to Penn State
2008    NIT    First Round loss to Creighton
2004    NIT    Opening round win over Boston Univ
2004    NIT    First round loss to West Virginia

*all team stats through 3/8


See All Men’s Basketball Postseason Capsules