Rhode Island is coasting right now, but they can’t afford to let up, especially in a weak A-10. The Rams will host UMass on Wednesday night.
There aren’t many teams in the country that are hotter than URI right now. Rhody has won eight straight. They’re perfect at home. They’re perfect in Atlantic 10 play. But despite all that, Rhode Island didn’t make an appearance in the AP Top 25, which was released earlier today. Which isn’t a big deal, really. All it means is that the Rams will need to keep winning, especially in a down year for the conference. Next up on the agenda is a home game versus UMass.
The Minutemen will carry a 10-8 (3-2) record into Kingston, and they’ve had more than a few head-scratching results this season. UMass has wins against Providence, Georgia, and recently downed Dayton at Dayton. That win kicked off a three-game win streak that URI will try to break this week. But the Minutemen have also lost to Quinnipiac, Georgia State, and George Mason, the last two coming at home. So who knows which team we’ll see on Wednesday.
One thing we’ll definitely see is the impressive play of UMass guard Luwane Pipkins. The 5’11” sophomore is averaging 20.2 points and 4.1 assists per game, and he’s no stranger to monster performances. Pipkins dropped 44 points in just 36 minutes last week against La Salle, which is insane. Thankfully, Rhode Island is guard-oriented. They might need every guard on their roster to help shut down Pipkins.
The Minutemen only have one other player averaging in double-figures, and he’s a freshman. 6’4″ guard Carl Pierre checks in with 11.7 points per game and a stout 49 percent shooting clip from three. Hopefully, Rhody’s upperclassmen can force Pierre into a few freshman mistakes.
The foot needs to remain on the gas for URI. The their win streak, perfection at home, and perfection in the conference will all be on the line.