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.
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.