There aren’t many games that stand out for Rhody fans from last year’s 8-21 (3-13) campaign. The Auburn game and the Saint Louis game for sure, but what else? If you start to group losses into the mix, then the definite stand-out is URI’s 81-44 loss to the Saint Joseph’s Hawks. It was about as ugly as a game can be, so rest assured that the Rams will be looking to drastically improve things when they take on the Hawks (twice) this season. Let’s have a look at Phil Martelli’s squad.
2012-13 Record: 18-14 (8-8 in the Atlantic 10)
Key Losses: G Carl Jones, C C.J. Aiken
Key Returners: G Langston Galloway, F Ronald Roberts, Jr., F Halil Kanacevic
Player to Watch: F Ronald Roberts, Jr.
It’s difficult to mention St. Joe’s and not talk about Langston Galloway, who is the leading returning scorer for the Hawks. But our thinking is that 6’8″ Ronald Roberts, Jr. will pose a bigger threat to Rhody when the two teams square off. The upcoming senior was third on the team in scoring (11.2 points per game) and first in rebounds (8.4 per game). And while the Rams were able to hold Galloway in check last March (eight points on 3-11 shooting), the same cannot be said for Roberts, Jr. He posted one of his thirteen double-doubles on the season, dropping 13 points on 5-8 shooting and adding 11 boards. URI will need to do a better job on Roberts, Jr. in order to pick up a pair of wins.
Predictions: Saint Joseph’s 64 – Rhode Island 55 (Jan. 22)
Rhode Island 68 – Saint Joseph’s 62 (Feb. 19)
Much like George Mason, the Hawks seem to be fairly evenly matched with the Rams this season. So our thinking is that each team will picks up a victory on their home court. Given last year’s results, it’s hard to think that Rhody will be able to sweep St. Joe’s. But as most fans know, it’s never safe to underestimate this team.