To be blunt, the Rhode Island Rams had a fair share of difficult-to-watch games in the 2012-13 season. And even in victory, one of the ugliest affairs from last year was Rhody’s 59-47 win over the Brown Bears. The two teams combined to shoot 31 percent in that one, scoring just 35 first-half points between the two of them. There’s certainly plenty the Rams can improve upon in the annual match-up, only this time they’ll have to do it on the road.
2012-13 Record: 13-15 (7-7 in the Ivy League)
Key Losses: G Matt Sullivan, F Tucker Halpern, F Tyler Ponticelli
Key Returners: G Sean McGonagill, C Rafael Maia, F Cedric Kuakumensah
Player to Watch: G Sean McGonagill
The Bears will be without their leading scorer (Sullivan) from a year ago, but they’re returning arguable their best player. McGonagill’s scoring average was second on the team last season, but he also grabbed the third-most board and led the team in assists. The 6’1″ point guard is wont to do a little bit of everything, and he certainly did that at the Ryan Center this past January. In 37 minutes, McGonagill racked up 10 points, six rebounds, and four assists. Like most in that game, he struggled with his shooting (4-15), but Dan Hurley will no doubt have his team keyed on Brown’s most dynamic player.
Prediction: Rhode Island 71 – Brown 58
A look at a few of the numbers in this storied rivalry indicate that the Rams have a clear advantage. Rhody is 101-53 all time against the Bears, including wins in 15 of their last 16 meetings. The lone loss came two years ago at Brown, so a road game is never a gimme. That said, it’s hard to bet against a URI team that is much improved from a year ago. Rams win.