slides: URI Basketballl 2015-16 Season Preview
Thursday, November 12, 2015
University of Rhode Island Rams men's basketball team is set to kick off their 2015-16 season on Friday, November 13th against American University at 8 p.m. at the Ryan Center. The Rams are coming off of a successfull 2014-15 campaign in which they went 23-10 overall and 13-5 in the A-10.
The Rams got into the postseason for the first time since 2010 and beat Iona in the first round of the NIT before falling to Stanford. Prior to this season, URI was picked to finish second in the A-10 and are expected to be an NCAA Tournament team. The pressure is on.
"Dan puts a lot of pressure and expectations on himself. Last year was a transition year and this is the production year. I think it would be disappointing to not make the NCAA Tournament but its easy to say, tough to do," said URI Radio play-by-play man Steve MacDonald.
This season, head coach Dan Hurley returns nearly all of his key playes from last season including guard E.C. Matthews and forward Hassan Martin.
Matthews averaged 17 points and five rebounds per game for URI last season and is once again on the Jerry West Award watch list. Meanwhile, Hassan Martin averaged 11 points and eight rebounds while blocking over 100 shots on the season.
While URI's success will be based off of the play of Matthews and Martin, this year's Rams team has multiple options.
"I think they are a much deeper team this year. Add in Kuran Iverson who looks like he is going to be the real deal. Hurley has said they are going with a nine man rotation at least to start the season so anytime you ca do that, that's impressive," said MacDonald.
URI also returns guard Jared Terrell who made the A-10 all-rookie team last season after starting 32 of 33 games and averaging nine points per game.
Iverson comes over from Memphis where he was a top 30 recruit. Iverson was granted a wiaver by the NCAA allowing him to play this season.
Meanwhile, Four McGlynn comes over from Towson University as a 5th year senior and will bring extra expereince to the Rams.
"Four McGlynn is going to see plenty of minutes this year, he's a 5th year senior brings some experience, has a good presence on the floor and is a shooter," MacDonald said.
The Rams also add freshman Nicola Akele and Christion Thompson who are both expected to play roles as the season goes on.
After the game against American, URI will host Valparaiso in a game tht will be part of the ESPN Tip-Off marathon and will be played at 10 a.m. at the Ryan Center.
URI will host rival Providence on December 5th and close the non-conference schedule on December 30th when they visit rival Brown University.
The Rams begin conference play on January 2nd at home against Saint Louis and end the regular season on March 5th on the road against Fordham.
Related Slideshow: URI Rams 2015-16 Projected Starting Lineup
G - E.C. Matthews
Expectations are high around returning junior guard E.C.Matthews, who was named to the A-10 preseason first team. Matthews was also named to the Jerry West Award watch list for the second straight season after making it into the final 16 last year.
Last season, Matthews averaged 17 points and five rebounds per game and leading URI to their first post season appearance since 2010.
G - Jared Terrell
As a freshman, Jared Terrell started 32 of 33 games for the Rams, averaging 27 minutes per game.
Terrell averaged 9 points, 2 rebounds and 1 assist per game and shot 37 percent from the field.
Those numbers earned him a spot on the A-10's All-Rookie team.
G - Jarvis Garrett
When Jarvis Garrett was in the starting lineup last season as a freshman URI went 12-6, and he will be in the starting lineup from the beginning of the season this year.
Garrett started 18 of 33 games for the Rams last year and averaged 26 minutes per game in non-conference and 28 minutes per game during the conference season.
Garrett averaged 6.4 points per game and shot 34 percent from the field.
F - Kuran Iverson
Kuran Iverson is the cousin of NBA legend Allen Iverson and, according to URI radio play by play man Steve MacDonald, "is the real deal."
The 6'9" Iverson transferred to URI from Memphis, where he was a top-30 recruit. In eight games with Memphis, Iverson averaged 4.6 points and 1.8 rebounds.
Iverson is eligible to play for the Rams this season due to a waiver he received from the NCAA.
F - Hassan Martin
Hassan Martin combines with E.C. Matthews as arguably the best 1-2 punch in the A-10, maybe in the country.
Martin was a defensive force for URI last season, blocking over 100 shots on the year, becoming only the second URI player to ever do that.
Martin also pulled down 8 rebounds per game and contributed offensively by averaging 11 points per game.
Martin had eight double-doubles on the season.
6th Man - Four McGlynn
McGlynn is a 6'2" guard that is expected to see significant of minutes for the Rams this season as a 5th year senior coming over after playing two years at Towson University, where he averaged 12 points per game while knocking down 37% of his shots from beyond the arc.
McGlynn is also an 82% free throw shooter and finished the 2014-15 season ranked fifth in the country in free throw percentage.
McGlynn started his career at the University of Vermont and has poured in 1,148 points and knocked down 194 three-pointers in his three years.
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