Rhode Island basketball will have to wait a year for their rematch with Alabama. The Rams won’t meet the Tide until the 2019-20 season.
Another piece of Rhody hoops scheduling news leaked out today as Alabama is no longer on URI’s 2018-19 slate. Instead, the return game of the home-and-home has been pushed out to the following season. So fans are going to have to wait before they see the Crimson Tide take the floor at the Ryan Center.
This is all per CBS Sports’ Jon Rothstein, who had Coach Cox on his podcast this week. The news wasn’t mentioned in the interview that aired, but presumably the two spoke off the air about this. Rothstein then dropped the news on Twitter.
David Cox tells me that the return game of the home-and-home series between Rhode Island and Alabama has been pushed back to the 19-20 season at the Ryan Center.
— Jon Rothstein (@JonRothstein) May 7, 2018
The initial reaction here is that this sucks. ‘Bama was an NCAA Tournament team last season, and missing the chance to play a quality opponent at home is never good. Plus, they took down Rhode Island last season, so some revenge would be nice.
But consider this. The Tide are likely to take a step back next season. They’re losing some key pieces: Collin Sexton to the NBA, Braxton Key to Virginia (transfer), and Ar’mond Davis to UC Santa Barbara (also a transfer). They still have plenty of talent, including Donta Hall, who went for 13 and 14 in Alabama’s 68-64 win over URI back in December. But it won’t be the same team we saw last year.
And the same goes for Rhode Island. The Rams lose five seniors, including E.C. Matthews and Jared Terrell. They likely won’t be as potent in 2018-19, either. Plus, they’ll be integrating at least four freshmen. But the following season… they could be dangerous. And that goes for both squads.
So moving the game back a year might just benefit both teams. For now though, the Rams will need to add another non-conference home game.