Rhode Island Men's Basketball 2017 NCAA Tournament Capsule


Rhode Island Rams

Atlantic 10 (24-9, 13-5)

The expectations were very high for Rhode Island this year, but those went away pretty quickly after a few early season losses. E.C. Matthews returned from his ACL injury that saw him miss all but ten minutes of the 2015-2016 campaign, but he was not quite the same player. He still averages 14.9 points and 4.2 rebounds though so it is not like he forgot how to shoot. Forward Hassan Martin is also struggling with a quad injury that saw him miss a few weeks of action. Point guard Jarvis Garrett also missed eight games. Still, all things considered, the Rams deserve a lot of credit for putting together a solid season.
Big Wins: 11/19 vs Cincinnati (76-71), 11/25 Belmont (82-73), 2/25 VCU (69-59)
Bad Losses: 1/12 La Salle (75-87), 1/25 at Richmond (62-73), 2/15 Fordham (43-53)
Coach: Dan Hurley
Why They Can Surprise:
The Rams play great defense and it all stems from the frontcourt duo of Martin and Kuran Iverson. Those two will swat away quite a few shots and many teams will shy away from attacking the basket when those two are patrolling the paint. Coach Dan Hurley also found some quality depth in the frontcourt with the emergence of freshman Cyril Langevine. The solid defense continues on the perimeter where URI allows the opposition to shoot just 29.4 percent from beyond the arc. When healthy, the Rams very rarely beat themselves. Garrett and Jeff Dowtin do a great job of working the ball through the big men without turning it over. The team as a whole commits just 11.3 turnovers per game.
Why They Can Disappoint:
Unfortunately for Rhode Island, Garrett’s minutes are limited following an illness. That has really put the pressure on Dowtin to perform. And he has performed well, but the pressure will be on now. The Rams also can have a problem shooting the ball. This is not a team that takes a lot of three-pointer, but last year they could depend on Garrett to consistently throw down three-pointers. Matthews and Jared Terrell are certainly capable of shooting from well beyond the arc, but neither has been particularly consistent this season. And that could be a big problem during the tournament when Martin and Iverson will not have quite as easy of a time scoring in the paint against the tougher competition.
Probable Starters:
Jeff Dowtin, Freshman, Guard, 4.9 ppg, 2.3 apg
E.C. Matthews, Junior, Guard, 14.9 ppg, 1.5 apg, 4.2 rpg
Jared Terrell, Junior, Guard, 12.5 ppg, 1.9 apg
Hassan Martin, Senior, Forward, 14.1 ppg, 7.0 rpg
Kuran Iverson, Senior, Forward, 9.4 ppg, 7.4 rpg
Key Role Players:
Cyril Langevine, Freshman, Forward, 3.1 ppg, 4.3 rpg
Christion Thomson, Sophomore, Guard, 2.6 ppg
Jarvis Garrett, Junior, Guard, 6.5 ppg, 3.1 apg
By the Numbers:
Scoring Offense: 73.1 (181st in nation, 8th in conference)
Scoring Defense: 65.2 (37, 1)
Field-Goal Percentage: 44.9 (146, 6)
Field-Goal Defense: 40.9 (39, 1)
Three-Point Field Goals Per Game: 6.1 (295, 11)  
Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: 32.8 (283, 12)
Free-Throw Percentage: 65.6 (304, 13)
Rebound Margin: 3.1 (85, 3)
Assists Per Game: 13.3 (195, 8)
Turnovers Per Game: 11.3 (34, 1)
Recent Postseason Appearances:
2015    NIT      First Round win over Iona
2015    NIT      Second Round loss to Stanford
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 3/5