A big key for the Rhode Island Rams this season will be the ability to turn some of last year’s A-10 losses into wins. Despite minor changes in the Atlantic 10 landscape, a majority of Rhody’s conference opponents will remain the same. So which teams will URI exact revenge on this season? Our thinking is that one of them will be the George Washington Colonials. Here’s a breakdown.
2012-13 Record: 13-17 (7-9 in the Atlantic 10)
Key Losses: G Lasan Kromah, F Dwayne Smith, G Bryan Bynes
Key Returners: F Isaiah Armwood, G Patricio Garino, F Kevin Larsen
Player to Watch: G Joe McDonald
Isaiah Armwood is most likely GW’s best player – he’s coming off a junior season in which he led the Colonials in both points and rebounds. But McDonald gave Rhody fits when the two teams squared off last year, and he’s poised to do the same this time around. The 6’1″ point guard is coming off a stellar season in which he averaged 7.5 points and a team-leading 3.2 assists. McDonald only scored 12 points against the Rams in January, but he made them count. The freshman stepped up and hit the game-winning jumper with nine seconds remaining to give his team a big 66-65 victory.
Prediction: Rhode Island 64 – George Washington 62
This year’s game will no doubt be just as tough; the Colonials are returning all five of their starters from a team that finished in the top 50 in the country (44th, to be exact) in rebounding. Mix in the fact that the Rams will be on the road this time around and it doesn’t get any easier. That said, Rhody now has the personnel to create the match-ups they want with GW, especially down low. It’ll be close, but URI will come away with a tough conference win.