Feb 16, 2013; Fairfax, VA, USA; George Mason Patriots forward Vaughn Gray (12) drives past Georgia State Panthers guard R.J. Hunter (22) during the first half at Patriot Center. Mandatory Credit: Rafael Suanes-USA TODAY Sports

Rhode Island Basketball 2013-14 Schedule Preview: George Mason Patriots

There are certainly a few tough games on Rhody’s non-conference schedule this season, and we’ve reached one in our preview. The Rams will have to deal with teams from the Big East, the American, the Pac-12, the SEC, and the A-10 before they begin conference play.

…Huh?

Yup, as part of a home-and-home agreement from last season, URI will play George Mason at the Ryan Center on November 30th as part of their non-conference schedule. On January 18th, Rhody will head to Virginia to play the Patriots as part of their Atlantic 10 schedule. College Chalktalk’s Chris DiSano was the first to report the format.

The Skinny:

2012-13 Record: 22-16 (10-8 in the Colonial Athletic Association)
Key Losses: G Vertrail Vaughns, F Paris Bennett, G Bryce Lewis
Key Returners: G Sherrod Wright, F Jonathan Arledge, G Bryon Allen

Player to Watch: G Sherrod Wright

Not only will Wright be a player to watch in both of these games, but he’s a player to keep an eye on this season in general. The 6’4″ senior was named to the Preseason All A-10 Second Team yesterday, but he could certainly wind up on the First Team by season’s end. Wright led the Patriots with 16.5 points per game last season, while also grabbing the second-most rebounds (4.8) for his squad. His point total was also good for seventh in the CAA – look for him to potentially crack the top five in the A-10 this season. The potential Wright-Munford shootouts could be epic.

Predictions:

George Mason 69 – Rhode Island 61 (Nov. 30)

Rhode Island 70 – George Mason 65 (Jan. 18)

The Patriots (much like the Rams) are in the second tier of teams in the A-10 this season and could finish anywhere between fifth and tenth in the conference. Being that they’re on the same level as Rhody, we’re thinking both teams hold serve on their home courts. If URI can find a way to snag both of these games, they’ll have a leg up in terms of tiebreakers in the standings.

Tags: Basketball George Mason Patriots Rhode Island Rams

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