It’s been a week, but there’s no reason the Rhode Island Rams can’t keep things rolling. Rhody will face off against Fordham tomorrow in New York for the first of their two match-ups against the Bronx Rams. Fordham is… well, they’re doing Fordham things. They’re losers of eight of their last nine and 1-6 overall in Atlantic 10 play. But let’s not forget that URI dropped their only contest against Tom Pecora’s team last year, a 66-63 decision at Rose Hill Gym. Here’s how Rhode Island can bounce back.
1. Stay Hot
Easier said than done, especially since Rhody amassed their fourth best shooing performance in school history last Saturday. But the offense is clicking right now, and it will need to stay that way as URI heads away from Kingston for a two-game road swing. It isn’t exactly difficult to drop points on Fordham, but URI can’t take anything for granted tomorrow night.
2. Severe Setback?
Fordham freshman (and former Rhode Island recruiting target) Jon Severe is no joke. He currently leads the A-10 in scoring at 19.7 points-per-game, but things have got a little rocky for him recently. Fordham’s star was benched this week following a seven-point performance on 2-14 shooting against UMass. He didn’t exactly light things up against VCU this week either, shooting 3-13 off the bench for nine points. Is it possible he’s run out of gas?
3. Control the Glass
If there’s one thing the Bronx Rams do well, it’s rebound the basketball. Their 38 boards per game ranks 63rd in the country, and they have five players averaging more than four rebounds per game. The good news is that Rhode Island is also tough on the boards – almost equally so. URI games have been quite unpredictable this season, so saying “whoever wins the rebounding battle will win the game” is a little too simple. But it can’t hurt.
4. T.J. vs Frazier
Severe may be Fordham’s best scorer, but their best player is point guard Branden Frazier. The senior averages 17.1 points, 5.3 rebounds and 4.2 assists per game, and he proved quite dangerous the last time these two teams met. Frazier dropped 20 points and picked up four dimes in 39 minutes against Rhody last season, and he’s even tougher this year. Biggie Minnis is likely out for another week, so T.J. Buchanan will have to handle Frazier tomorrow night. It’s a bit of a relief that URI will have their best defender on Fordham’s best player, but it’s no guarantee. Shutting Frazier down will be key to picking up the win.
5. Exact Revenge
This one might be more for the fans than the players and coaches, but the Bronx Rams certainly pissed off some of the Rhody faithful last season. From their trash talking to their chest pounding to the hate from their media, it was a tough pill to swallow. And it’s started back up again, with our old friend calling Dan Hurley an “oft-controversial” coach. Right, because of all those ejections and suspensions and fines he has to deal with…
Let’s stomp these clowns.