Wednesday, September 12, 2007



Last Season: 19-14 (10-6), No postseason
Key Losses: C Darrell Harris (6.6 ppg, 3.7 rpg)
Key Adds: G Marquis Jones (top 300), F Delroy James (redshirt, 3-star in 2006)

It may be a bit surprising to see the Rams here, but this is a team I believe can compete this season. After a slow start last season, URI really came together in conference play, going 10-3 to start before a three game skid to close out the regular season. The rams return their top five scorers from last year, and will have seven players back who averaged more than twenty minutes per game last season. One thing that makes the Rams so dangerous is their there three-point shooting, as they lead the A-10 in three point percentage (30th nationally) at 39%.

Leading the way in the shooting barrage is coach's son Jimmy Baron, who Athlon Magazine ranks as the sixth best shooter in all of college basketball. Baron made 97 three-pointers last season while shooting 48% from behind the arc, both numbers beating the previous school records held by Tyson Wheeler.

Another three-point specialist is fellow guard Joe Mbang, whose 48 three's made were exactly half of field goals made for the season. Helping out in the backcourt is senior Parfait Bitee, who is a lock down defender on a team not exactly known for it's defense.

The frontcourt is where you'll find the Rams top overall player, Will Daniels, who was all-conference first team last season and returns for more. The 6-8 Daniels averaged 17.4 points and 5.6 rebounds per game last season, and showed a nice outside touch, making 51 threes on 42% shooting.

Next to him downlow will be junior Kahiem Seawright, who finished fifth in the league with 7.5 rebounds per game last season. Seawright was named most improved player for the Rams, after doubling his scoring and rebounding averages from the previous season. Depth will come from Keith Cothran, Jon Lucky, Lamonte Ulmer (all averaged more than 16 minutes per game last season), as well as redshirt freshman Delroy James, who was a three-star recruit prior to last season.

OVERALL (pt 2):
It's a long shot that any team out of the A-10 will get an at-large NCAA berth, and Xavier looks to be the strongest team out of the conference, but the Rams could cause some issues for teams. With their outside shooting and up-tempo style of play (22nd in scoring last season) they could make some noise. A decent non-conference schedule (vs. UAB, @ Boston College, vs. Providence, @ Syracuse) will give them the opportunity to be noticed. Xavier should take note right now.

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