Mar 15, 2013; Tulsa, OK, USA; Southern Miss Golden Eagles forward Dwayne Davis (4) drives against UTEP Miners guard Jacques Streeter (11) as center John Bohannon (21) look on during the semifinals of the Conference USA tournament at the BOK Center. Southern Miss defeated UTEP 85-67. Mandatory Credit: Nelson Chenault-USA TODAY Sports

Rhode Island Basketball 2013-14 Schedule Preview: Southern Miss Golden Eagles

When we posted the initial release of the 2013-14 Rhody hoops schedule, we mentioned that there was the possibility of a game or two being added. Well there was only one addition, but the basketball operations group made sure it was a solid one. The Rams will welcome the Southern Miss Golden Eagles to the Ryan Center in their last game of the calendar year.

The Skinny:

2012-13 Record: 27-10 (12-4 in Conference USA)
Key Losses: G Dwayne Davis, F Jonathan Mills, G Rashard McGill
Key Returners: G Jerrold Brooks, G Neil Watson, F Daveon Boardingham

Player to Watch: G Neil Watson

The Golden Eagles top scorer (Davis) has graduated, but they’re still returning a solid core of impact players. This most certainly includes point guard Neil Watson. The 5’11” point guard ranked third on the team in scoring at 9.8 points-per-game, but that’s only one of the ways he can burn the opposition. Watson dished out 4.9 assists per game on a team that was 33rd in the country in dimes for the year. Needless to say, he’s quite dangerous with the ball in his hands.

Prediction: Southern Miss 77 – Rhode Island 73

Southern Miss is coming off an excellent season that saw them slip off the NCAA Tournament bubble, but still make a deep run in the NIT. Sure, their (arguably) best player is gone, but they’re still returning three of their five starters from a 27-win team. The Rams will have their home crowd behind them, but it likely won’t be enough to top the Golden Eagles.

Tags: Basketball Rhode Island Rams Southern Miss Golden Eagles

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