Let the countdown to game time begin. The Rhode Island Rams will take on the “strongly disliked” Providence Friars tonight at the Ryan Center in what should be an awesome game. The rivalry is certainly back, as both teams are hungry and on the rise. So what will the Rams need to do to remain undefeated at home? We have a few ideas…
1. No Lapses on Offense
This one is a lot easier said than done, but it’s something that Rhody has struggled with all season. URI can ill afford to go cold from the field, whether it’s at the beginning of the game, the end, or anywhere in between. The Friars have too much firepower for the Rams to battle back from a prolonged slump.
2. Get the Crowd Involved
With a sell-out expected, it’s key for Rhode Island to get the home crowd involved early and often. URI is 4-0 in Kingston and 4-1 all time against PC at the Ryan Center, so it’s going to be key to get the building rocking from the opening tip.
3. Don’t Let Cotton Loose
PC has several dangerous players, but none more than Bryce Cotton. The senior is averaging 19 points per game so far this season, and he’s dangerous from anywhere on the court. Minnis, Matthews, Powell, Reischel… it doesn’t matter. But someone needs to shut him down tonight.
4. Avoid Foul Trouble
It hamstrung the Rams last time out against George Mason, and URI’s bigs need to do everything they can to keep it from happening again. Gilvydas Biruta, Ifeanyi Onyekaba, and Hassan Martin all had their fair share of foul trouble on Saturday afternoon, forcing Dan Hurley to go small against a team that was pretty tough inside. Well PC is even tougher, so those three big guys need to be on the floor as much as possible.
5. Exploit Fortune
With Kris Dunn out once again, the Friars are thin at the point guard position. Cotton will likely see some big minutes handling the ball, but Rhody needs to get all over Josh Fortune when he’s in at the point. The sophomore has taken better care of the rock so far this season, but he can certainly be turnover-prone. If the Rams can get in on some of that, they’ll create extra scoring opportunities for themselves.
Let’s. Do. This. Let us know what you think the biggest keys are in the comments. GO RHODY!