URI Basketball Ranked #24 in Preseason Coaches Poll
Thursday, October 20, 2016
This marks the first time since the 2007-2008 season that the Rams have been nationally ranked. The highest URI has ever been ranked came in 1997-98 when they were ranked 20 in the AP Poll. That season they made the NCAA Tournament and lost in the regional final.
The Rams are ranked 24th behind Texas and Creighton at 22 and 23, while ranking ahead of Cincinnati at 25.
Duke is ranked as the number one team in the country with 27 first place votes.
Kansas, Villanova, Kentucky and Oregon round out the top five.
2016-17 URI Basketball
In 2015-16, the Rams went 17-15 overall and 9-9 in the A-10 after losing star guard E.C. Matthews in the first game of the season and sitting A-10 Defensive Player of the Year Hassan Martin for the final four games of the season with knee tendonitis.
The Rams will return E.C. Matthews, Hassan Martin, Jared Terrell, Jarvis Garrett and Kuran Iverson while transfer Stanford Robinson will be eligible to play.
URI Begins their season on November 11 when they host Dartmouth at the Ryan Center.
Related Slideshow: GoLocal’s All-Rhode Island 2015-16 Division I Hoop Teams
GoLocal First Team
G - Kris Dunn
After skipping out on the NBA and returning to school, Dunn averaged 16.4 points, 6.2 assists and 5.3 rebounds per game for PC, leading them to the second round of the NCAA Tournament as a redshirt junior.
It was reported earlier this week that Dunn will declare for the NBA Draft where he is expected to be a top 5 pick.
"It's tough to see a young man that has grown up in front of my eyes in Kris and what he's meant to our organization, and to see where he was, and now where he's at, and then where he's going. You know, you look at it where, damn, you're like a dad seeing somebody grow up in front of your eyes. I can't tell you how much I love this kid and this team, what they've meant to Providence and what they've meant to me this year. I'm going to really miss them," said PC Head Coach Ed Cooley after Dunn played his final game as a Friar.
The Friars went 23-10 overall this season, and 10-8 in the Big East, making the tournament for the third straight season.
GoLocal First Team
G - Jared Terrell
The Rams had a year to forget due to injuries to star players E.C. Matthews and Hassan Martin. However, they still managed to go 17-15 overall and 9-9 in the A-10 due in large part to Jared Terrell.
Jared Terrell averaged 13.6 points, 3.4 rebounds and 2.6 assists per game for the Rams this season, reaching double figures in scoring in 13 of URI's final 14 games.
In those 13 games, Terrell had at least 20 points in 6 of them.
Terrell was named to the USBWA All-District one team at the close of the regular season.
GoLocal First Team
F - Ben Bentil
After averaging just 6.4 points per game as a freshman, Ben Bentil averaged 21.2 points per game overall and 22.9 points per game in conference play, making him the leading scorer in the Big East.
Bentil is the 7th Friar all-time to lead the league in scoring and the fourth Friar in the last six seasons to do it.
Bentil was named the Big East's Most Improved Player, joining Kadeem Batts (2013) and Herbert Hill (2007) as Friar recipients of the Big East Most Improved Player Award.
GoLocal First Team
F - Cedric Kuakumensah
This season, Senior forward Cedric Kuakumensah broke the Ivy League all-time record for blocked shots in a career with 311, a record that may not be touched for a long time.
"Cedric blocked shots at a high rate his entire career and he got a chance to play right from the start, he started as a Freshman. For someone to break that record, they are going to have to really produce, but they are also going to need chance to play right away," said Brown men's basketball coach Mike Martin.
He is the only player in Ivy League history to score 1,000 points, grab 900 rebounds and block 200 shots.
In his senior season, Kuakumensah averaged 14 point and 9.2 rebounds per game for the Brown Bears while also blocking 2.7 shots per game.
"He's met alot to our program in so many ways," Martin added.
GoLocal First Team
F - Hassan Martin
Martin became the first URI Ram to win the A-10 Defensive Player of the Year Award since its inception in 1996-97.
Martin averaged 2.5 blocks per game overall this season and 2.4 in conference play, putting him atop the league leaders for the third straight season. The 2.5 blocks per game is 18th best in the country.
Martin finished his season with 65 blocked shots, ranking him sixth in program history for most blocks in a season.
Earlier in the season, Martin moved into the #2 spot on Rhode Island's all-time blocked shots list, passing current assistant coach Antonio Reynolds Dean.
Martin now has 248 career blocked shots, 10th most among active NCAA Division I players and second among active juniors.
Offensively, Martin averaged 12 points per game for URI before going down with a knee injury that bothered him all season. Martin did not play in URI's last four games.
Rookie of the Year - Marcel Pettway
North Providence's Marcel Pettway became only the second player in program history to earn the NEC Rookie of the Year award, after Alex Francis did it in 2011.
Pettway started the last 22 games for Bryant and finished his freshman season averaging 11.4 points per game, fourth best among league rookies. Pettway shot 59.7 percent from the field on the season and recorded 8 double-doubles, including a career high 26 points and 11 rebounds against Fairleigh Dickinson.
The 8 double-doubles are tied for most by a freshman in Bryant's division I history.
"It's great to recruit a local player who is able to do great things right away. Marcel plays very mature for his age, makes few mistakes, he can pass out of double teams and contrbutes on the offensive and defensive glass," said Bryant Associate Head Coach Happy Dobbs.
Coach of The Year - Ed Cooley
Ed Cooley led the Friars to a record of 23-10 overall and 10-8 in the Big East Conference.
Providence advanced to their third straight NCAA tournament where they defeated the University of Southern California in the first round. The win was PC's first NCAA Tournament win since 1997.
Player of The Year - Ben Bentil
After averaging just 6.4 points per game as a Freshman, Sophomore Ben Bentil averaged 21.2 points per game overall and 22.9 points per game in conference play, making him the leading scorer in the Big East.
After a breakout season, Bentil has declared for the NBA Draft, at least just to test the waters. He is not signing with an agent, leaving him eligible to return to Providence next season.
"We support Ben and as he goes through this process. We believe this will enable him to gain valuable experience and have better knowledge about when it will be best for him to pursue his dreams of playing in the NBA," said PC Head Coach Ed Cooley.
GoLocal Second Team
G - Quarry Greenaway (JWU)
Senior guard Quarry Greenaway led Johnson & Wales averaging 25.8 points per game and earned D3 All-American Third Team honors. He is the first Wildcat player to do so since 2012.
Along with Tom Garrick, Greenaway led the Wildcats to the D3 Sweet 16 where they fell 101-85 to Tufts.
- URI Men’s Basketball 2013-14 Season Preview
- URI Men’s Basketball Going Pink for Gemma Foundation
- Good Start: URI Men’s Basketball Blows out Maine 97-77
- URI Men’s Hoops Scores 66-63 Comeback Win over Metro State
- URI Men’s Basketball Ranked #20 in Country in ESPN Preseason Poll
- URI Men’s Basketball Season Preview
- URI Men’s Basketball Picked 2nd in A-10 Preseason Poll
- Former URI Basketball Player Arrested on Murder Charge
- Jordan Hare Leaves URI Basketball Team
- URI Basketball Signs Guard McGlynn For 2015-16 Season
- New Year’s Resolutions for Dan Hurley and URI Basketball
- Breaking News: Jordan Hare to Take Leave of Absence from URI Basketball Team
- EXCLUSIVE: Jamal Wilson No Longer With URI Basketball Team
- URI Basketball Update: Hurley Coming to URI
- NEW: URI Basketball Player Arrested for Video Voyeurism
- URI Basketball Player Arrested Again; No Longer in School
- NEW: Bill Murray’s Son, Luke, Leaves URI Basketball For Xavier
- Recruiting Insider: Forecasting the Future of PC and URI Basketball
- NEW: URI Basketball Lands Indiana Transfer Robinson
- NEW: URI Basketball Picked to Finish 2nd in A-10
- URI Basketballl 2015-16 Season Preview
- URI Basketball Signs Head Coach Dan Hurley to Contract Extension
- The URI Basketball Schedule - What we Know, So Far
- Former URI Basketball Star Odom Reportedly Found Unconscious in Las Vegas
- URI Basketball Gets Verbal Commit From Cyril Langevine
- URI Basketball Alums, Biruta, Baron and Munford, Set for NBA Summer League Action
- URI Basketball to be Featured as Part of ESPN’s Tip-Off Marathon
- URI Basketball Gets Verbal Commitment From Michael Tertsea
- URI Basketball Releases 2016-17 Non-Conference Schedule