It took me a week to be able to process last week’s loss to Dayton at home.
URI played, arguably, their worst game of the season. But I still think they can win the Atlantic 10 tournament. Here’s why.
Rock Bottom Theory
As aforementioned, it may have been their worse showing of the year. With that being said, it can only get better from here- right?
The Rams shot less than thirty percent from the field and less than fifteen percent from deep. Fatts Russell was held scoreless on just four attempts. Jeff Dowtin snapped a 23-game double digit scoring streak. Even Coach David Cox mentioned that it was more than just missing shots, the team had quit.
If there was a prop bet for it, I would put my life savings that Russell never has less than five attempts in another game, and that Rhode Island will not shoot worse than they did last Saturday.
The frustrating thing with this team is the inconsistency. The Rams have beaten West Virginia and St. Louis, while losing to teams like Stony Brook and Dayton on Saturday. And Saturday was the lowest point. The high point, knock on wood, is yet to come.
The Rhode Ahead
Before the Atlantic-10 Tournament, Rhode Island has seven more conference games, with one more against Davidson, the defending champions. They are currently 5-6 in conference play, and four of their remaining games are at the Ryan Center.
Bad games aside, this team has shown flashes of brilliance. The storyline has been jammed down everyone’s throats: they’re young. Four freshman, a sophomore in a huge role and a first year head coach is the perfect recipe for a roller coaster season. Roller coasters are fun- and this team is fun to watch at times.
Their bright spot last game was the big man, Cyril Langevine. He’s been the rock for the team for a majority of their games, and ended up leading the game in scoring with 23 points, as well as rebounds with 10. It was his 12th double-double of the season, and he was one point away from repeating a career high, as he had 24 the previous game at Davidson.
Rhode Island has a huge bounce-back game at home against Fordham this Saturday. Now, Fordham is one of the worst teams in the conference, and URI is coming off of an embarrassing performance, as Cox put it. Expect an emphatic win.
This team has a tough road ahead if they want to make the NCAA tournament for a third year in a row. They were left out of a mock-NIT bracket this week. Should they win 5 or 6 of their last games and the dice roll the right way, Rhode Island could see themselves as a top four seed heading into the A10 Tournament. With the double-bye, this team has some big-game players that could make some noise in the tournament, and get the automatic bid.
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