Revenge. It’s a word we’ve been throwing around a lot, but it probably shouldn’t be taken literally. Obviously the Rhode Island Rams want to improve their results from last season, especially in Atlantic 10 play. But seeking vengeance? That’s a little extreme.
Except in this case. The Rams lost a 66-63 heart-breaker to the Fordham Rams last season at Rose Hill Gym in a game that saw the Bronx Rams thumping their chests like it was the National Championship. Maybe that’s just how teams that never win react to winning – who knows. In the aftermath of Fordham’s second of three conference wins, their fans and bloggers took their jabs at Rhody and Dan Hurley. All of this may have been unnoticed or forgotten by the players and coaches themselves, but the fans certainly remember. Rest assured, both games between the two teams will generate a lot of excitement this season.
2012-13 Record: 7-24 (3-13 in the Atlantic 10)
Key Losses: F Chris Gaston, G Jeff Short
Key Returners: G Branden Frazier, G Mandell Thomas, F Travion Leonard
Player to Watch: G Branden Frazier
No, not him.
The 6’3″ point guard is a force in the Atlantic 10 though, and URI will need to do whatever it takes to limit his impact on the game. Frazier is coming off an excellent junior season in which he tallied 14.2 points, 3.7 rebounds, and 5.0 assists per game. He surpassed the 20-point plateau eight times last year, including dropping an even 20 against Rhody back in January. That can’t happen again if Rhode Island wants to pick up a pair of wins.
Predictions: Rhode Island 74 – Fordham 68 (Feb. 1)
Rhode Island 77 – Fordham 57 (Mar. 5)
Enough messing around. Rhode Island should be able to handle their Ram counterparts in both of their contests this season. The players from last year no doubt remember the experience they had in the Bronx last season and they’ll be determined to prevent it from happening again. Let’s see what Fordham fans will be saying after that.