Nov 19, 2013; Tucson, AZ, USA; Rhode Island Rams guard Biggie Minnis (10) defends an inbound during the second half against the Arizona Wildcats at McKale Center. The Wildcats beat the Rams 87-59. Mandatory Credit: Casey Sapio-USA TODAY Sports

Rhode Island Basketball: First Semester Report Card – Biggie Minnis

OVERALL GRADE: B-

KEY STATS
Points Per Game: 5.7 (5th on team)
Shooting Percentage: 44.9 (7th)
Free-Throw Percentage: 50.0 (9th)
Assists Per Game: 2.9 (1st)

We mentioned E.C. Matthews as a guy whose play earned him a spot in the starting lineup mid-season. But he wasn’t the one one. Texas Tech transfer Biggie Minnis also worked his way into the top five of the Rhode Island Rams, thanks to some solid work at the point guard position. Minnis has essentially supplanted Mike Powell as the floor general, but (much like Matthews) he’s struggled in his new role.

From the SMU game on, Minnis saw his point totals grow game-by-game. From two points, to four, then eight, then nine. When Biggie dropped 14 points on 5-6 shooting against UNC-Asheville, Dan Hurley didn’t have much of a choice. Minnis got the start at point guard against McNeese State, and promptly scored… zero points.

That’s unfair on our part, because that certainly doesn’t tell the whole story. Biggie dished out a season-high eight assists against the Cowboys to go along with five rebounds. He’s finding ways to contribute even when he’s not finding his shot, which is awesome to see. Minnis leads the team in assists and has a solid assist-to-turnover ratio (1.7). He also rebounds very well for a point guard, grabbing more than three per game.

But the drop-off in offense since becoming a starter is a bit concerning. Check out the numbers. Before becoming a starter: 6.7 points per game, 59 percent from the field. As a starter: 3.5 points per game, 25 percent from the field. Yes, it’s a small sample. And yes, the games he’s started have been much better competition. But the biggest factor is that he’s dealing with different personnel now, which is a big deal for a point guard. If he’s still scoring a bucket or two per game and missing 75 percent of his shots in February, then it’s time to worry. But for now? Just give him time.

The complete package gets Biggie checked in at a B-. Too high? Too low? Let us know in the comments!

Tags: Basketball Rhode Island Rams

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