Location: The Ryan Center (Kingston, RI)
Date: Saturday December, 5
Time: 1:00 pm
Preview: The Friars (5-2) will make the short trip town to Kingston to The University of Rhode Island (4-1) to renew the annual intrastate RIvalry which is PC vs. URI… The Rumble in Rhody. This will be the 120th meeting between the two schools with Providence holding the lead in the all-time series. In the last 29 years the Friars hold a 19-10 edge of the Rams. Since the opening of the 7,600 seat Ryan Center in 2002, however, the Rams have had great success at home. Last year the Friars scratched out a great win at the Dunk to down the Rams and will look to do so again this year.
Like the Friars the Rams have a new look this year. Losing two senior standouts including Jimmy Baron, the Rams are lead by returning seniors Keith Cothran and Lamonte Ulmer, and junior forward Delroy James. They are the leading scorers for the team in that order. Cothran leads the way with 15.4 ppg. The Rams are rounded out by freshman ‘scoring’ guard Akeem Richmond, and 7 footer Will Martel. The Rams got off to a quick start, easily handling the teams they have beaten, but have beaten nobody of consequence. They suffered there first loss to VCU on the road just this week. The Rams have excelled against the Friars in the Ryan Center and will look to do so again. The game is sold out which should make for a great college basketball rivalry.
PFB Perspective: It is that time of year again. Time for the PC-URI Rivalry to be renewd. Another chance for the Rams to get the chip off of their shoulder and another chance for Providence to show once again that although URI is the state’s school, the Friars are the state’s team A sell-out crowd at the Ryan Center will add to the atmosphere around the game. Many claim the rivalry is not what it once was, which given that we have not experienced beyond the last few years may be true. But we don’t think one person who was at the Dunk last year for PC’s great win over URI would say that the rivalry isn’t as intense as it comes. Sure it isn’t UNC vs. Duke or Kentucky vs. Louisville, and it doesn’t have deep lasting meaning in post-season play but pride and state bragging rights are on the line. It is PC vs. URI and sitting in the Dunk last year it was clear that the only things the students had in common were their love of their team and their hate for their rival. For the students, for the alumni, for the players and coaches, and for the state of Rhode Island it is the Rumble in Rhody… a good day in basketball.
Now to the game breakdown. URI has rangy athletes who like to use their athleticism. Mcuh like PC, URI will get out there and run, and like PC they will put on full court pressure. Expect PC to try and contain URI’s athleticism by falling back into a zone much like VCU did in their win. VCU had trouble keeping up in their man-to-man and fell back into the zone given URI a lot of problems. Since the Friars are likely to play a fair amount of zone one would think, the individual match-ups are not as important this game; however, there is one match-up that we want to keep an eye on. URI center Will Martel is pretty big at 7’0″ 245 lbs. Especially with the rate at which Bilal picks up fouls, PC will need a group effort from Bilal, James Still, and “Chainsaw” to keep him in check. Greedy will also have to put in some overtime on the glass. He is very much outsized, but if one of our bigs can put a body on Martel the lanes should be more clear for Greedy to snag some boards.
The other major factor is that this is a road game at the Ryan Center. For URI this is one of the biggest games they will host all year. They have sold the place out, and PC as we know has had a pretty bad history since its opening. Also, although this isn’t the first road game for the Friars, it will be the first time they play in a packed hostile crowd such as the one they will see at the Ryan Center. Games at Alabama and Northeastern were decent warm-ups but the first URI game for many of the players on the team will be something they have not seen before. This will be a major factor, so look to see how PC comes out. Obviously a close game will favor the Rams.
Since the game will be a new experience for the freshman and new comers it is more important than ever for the veterans to step up. If Marshon is going to have a 40 minutes performance during the OCC the URI game would be the time to have it. Sharaud has been looking good so let’s hope he is good for another great night shooting the ball. Greedy needs to keep up the good work, and a decent performance from Brain McKenzie would make an unbelievable differance. He had some clutch rebounds last game, but he needs to get his shot going and score more than three points in the game. If he could put up 8 points we would be happy.
There isn’t too much else to say. This post is already pretty lengthy. There is no doubt about it, this will be a very difficult game. To get away with a win would be huge. For PC to be relavent headed into BIG EAST play they basically need to win the remainder of their OCC games. No, it wouldn’t be the end of the world if they lost one to URI or George Washington on the road, but it would help to win out. And it is possible. It will be extremely difficult, but it is something to shoot for. A win in Kingston will most likely be theit most difficult obstacle, but a strong performance get them a win. Limit the turnovers, bring their shots with them on the trip down, keep their composure, and a win is possible for the Friars.
Coverage: TV- Cox / Radio- WEEI 103.7 FM Providence