Rhody Returns to Action on Sunday; Hosts UMass Lowell at 2 p.m.

Rhody Returns to Action on Sunday; Hosts UMass Lowell at 2 p.m.

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VIDEO: CoxHub.com - Mike Mancuso; Chris DiSano

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RHODE ISLAND VS. UMASS LOWELL - ALL-TIME SERIES

  • Rhode Island is 9-0 all-time versus the school that is now known as UMass Lowell.
  • Last season, the Rams earned a 79-68 victory over the Riverhawks on Nov. 23.
  • Rhody first played then-Lowell Tech during the 1921-22 season, earning a 36-32 victory in Kingston.  
  • The last meeting came on Dec. 7, 1940 - an 83-38 victory - at Rodman Hall.
  • The Lowell Textile School opened in 1897 and through several curriculum changes, eventually merged with Lowell State College in 1972 to become the University of Lowell.  It was renamed UMass Lowell in 1991 (thanks, Wikipedia).

RHODE ISLAND VS. THE AMERICA EAST

  • Since the conference was formed in 1995, Rhode Island is 30-9 against teams from the America East.
  • Last season, Rhody was 3-0 against America East opponents, defeating Maine (97-77),  UMass Lowell (79-68), and New Hampshire (62-45) during the non-conference slate.
  • Five of Rhody's top 20 most common opponents - New Hampshire, Maine, Northeastern, Vermont, Boston University - are currently or were previously members of the America East.

RHODE ISLAND AT THE ALEX AND ANI COURT AT THE THOMAS M. RYAN CENTER  

  • Rhode Island holds a 119-69 all-time record in the Thomas M. Ryan Center since the program's inaugural game in the venue.
  • Last season, URI posted a 10-6 record at home - the ninth time in venue history the Rams won 10 or more home games.
  •  The Rams' first victory was a 73-71 overtime affair vs. USC on Nov. 26, 2002.
  • Rhode Island earned its 100th victory in Ryan Center history in an 85-73 victory over Hofstra on Nov. 25, 2011.

RHODE ISLAND IN NON-CONFERENCE PLAY

  • Since joining the Eastern 8 in the 1980-81 season, URI has posted a 260-212 mark in non-conference play.
  • Dating back to the 2006-07 season, the Rams have posted a 77-48 record versus out-of-conference opponents.
  • The Rams will play two teams ranked in the preseason AP and Coaches Polls - #21/21 Nebraska (Nov. 22) and #5/5 Kansas (Nov. 27).
  • Rhody has the potential to play seven teams that played in the postseason a year ago, including five NCAA Tournament teams.
  • Five  opponents won 23+ games last year: Kansas (25), Tennessee (24), Michigan State (29), Southern Miss (29), Providence (23)
  • The composite record of Rhody's 2014-15 non-conference opponents: 257-204 (.557)
  • The average RPI of Rhody's 2014-15 non-conference opponents: 136.5
  • In all, the 2014-15 non-conference slate features 11 games versus teams from a potential 13 different conferences.

HARE LEAVES RHODE ISLAND BASKETBALL PROGRAM

  • Sophomore Jordan Hare has decided to leave the Rhode Island men's basketball program.  Hare remains a full-time student.
  • The 6-10 native of Saginaw, Mich. missed the 2013-14 campaign after taking a personal leave of absence from the university.
  • This past September, the NCAA granted Hare a waiver to compete immediately for the 2014-15 season.
  • As a freshman in 2012-13, Hare averaged 5.2 points, 4.0 rebounds, and 1.8 blocked shots per game.

MARTIN, BUTLER EFFICIENT IN CAREER NIGHTS VS. PACE

  • Sophomore Hassan Martin scored a career-best 21 points in just 17 minutes of play on opening night vs. Pace.
  • Martin was 8-of-11 from the floor overall, including 8-of-10 from 2FG and 5-of-7 from the FT line.
  • The forward's true shooting percentage, which takes into account FG, 3FG, and FT, was 74.6%.
  • Classmate Matthew Butler scored a career-high 12 points (4-7 FG; 2-4 3FG; 2-2 FT) and had a team-best  TS% 76.1%.

ATLANTIC 10 MEDIA DAY - THREE RAMS EARN PRESEASON ACCOLADES; RAMS PICKED TO FINISH SIXTH

  • Sophomore guard E.C. Matthews - the 2013-14 A-10's Co-Rookie of the Year and the league's fourth-best returning scorer - was selected to the 2014-15 Preseason All-Conference Second Team.
  • Matthews' 16.6 points per game in A-10 play in 2013-14 is the second-best league scoring average among all returners.
  • Senior forward Gilvydas Biruta was named to the A-10's Preseason All-Conference Third Team after averaging 10.6 points and 7.0 rebounds  per game last year.  His 7.0 boards per game ranks him fifth among all A-10 returnees.
  • Sophomore forward Hassan Martin was selected to the A-10's Preseason All-Defensive team.
  • Last year, Martin led the A-10 in blocked shots and set a new Rhode Island freshman record in rejections (80 blocks; 2.5 bpg).
  • Martin averaged 6.3 points, 5.7 boards, and 2.5 blocks.  In A-10 play, he registered 8.8 points, 7.4 rebounds and 2.9 blocks per outing.
  • Rhode Island was picked to finish sixth on the league's preseason poll, according to a vote by the league's 13 head coaches and selected media.  It is the highest preseason prediction for the Rams since the 2010-11 season, when URI was tabbed to finish fifth.

WHERE THE EXPERTS ARE PICKING THE RAMS

  • Here is a summary of some of the preseason prognostications and where they see Rhode Island finishing in the A-10 in 2014-15:
  • Athlon Sports - 3rd; E.C. Matthews - First Team All-Conference
  • Lindy's Preview - 5th; E.C. Matthews - First Team All-Conference
  • CollegeChalkTalk.com -  5th; E.C. Matthews - All-Conference
  • Blue Ribbon College Yearbook - 6th; E.C. Matthews - First Team All-Conference
  • USA Today - 6th; E.C. Matthews - First Team All-Conference  
  • ESPN.com Insider - 6th; E.C. Matthews - First Team All-Conference
  • Sporting News - 6th; Gilvydas Biruta - All-Conference
  • SI.com - 6th; Jared Terrell - Newcomer of the Year
  • CBSSports.com - 7th; E.C. Matthews - First Team All-Conference

NBCSPORTS.COM:  MATTHEWS TABBED AT #46 ON TOP 100 COLLEGE BASKETBALL PLAYER COUNTDOWN

  • E.C. Matthews has been recognized as #46 on NBCSports.com's College Basketball Talk's top 100 players in the country.
  • The @CBTonNBC twitter account commented: If you don't have the @RhodyMBB star on a top 100 list should stop doing rankings
  • Two other A-10 players were among the top 100 - GW's Patricio Garino (#96); Treveon Graham of VCU (#27).
  • Other players that the Rams this season will face also made the list: #42 Wayne Selden (Kansas); #40 Brandon Dawson (Michigan State); #29 Cliff Alexander (Kansas); #26 Perry Ellis (Kansas); #18 Kelly Oubre (Kansas); #13 Terran Petteway (Nebraska).

MATTHEWS NAMED TO BOB COUSY AWARD WATCH LIST

  • E.C. Matthews is one of 36 guards nationally to be named to the 2015 Bob Cousy Award watch list.
  • Matthews is one of two A-10 players to make the national watch list, joined by VCU's Briante Weber.
  • The award, named for the former Boston Celtic and Naismith Hall of Fame, is presented annually to the top point guard in men's college basketball.
  • The watch list of candidates will be narrowed down to a final 20 in early February, then final five by early March.

CBSSPORTS.COM:  MARTIN ONE OF 20 UNDER-THE-RADAR BREAKOUT PLAYERS

  • Hassan Martin has been recognized by CBSSports.com as one of its 20 under-the-radar breakout players.
  • The sophomore native of Staten Island, N.Y. was one of five Atlantic 10 players to make the national list.  
  • The 6-7 forward was an Atlantic 10 All-Rookie team selection a season ago.