Rhode Island, Nicholls Set for Battle Tuesday Night

Photo Credit: Autumn Walter
Photo Credit: Autumn Walter

THE BASICS
Nicholls (2-2) at Rhode Island (2-1)
Tip-Off: Tuesday, Nov. 19, 7:02 p.m. EST
Live Coverage: Stats | Audio | TV: Cox/YurView
Game Notes 

RHODE ISLAND VS. NICHOLLS - SERIES NOTES

  • Tuesday's game will be the first meeting between Rhode Island and Nicholls. 
  • The game is part of the Jersey Mike's Jamaica Classic. Both teams will head to Montego Bay to play two more games. Rhode Island will play North Texas and LSU, while Nicholls will face North Carolina A&T and UMBC. 
  • Despite being picked 11th in the Southland preseason poll, Nicholls has a signature victory at Pitt (75-70), took Illinois to overtime in a 78-70 loss and most recently challenged No. 23 LSU on the road, 75-65. Nicholls led 39-38 in the game at LSU. 
  • Nicholls games tend to feature chaos with ball possession. The Coloniels are sixth in the nation in steals with 47 and have caused an average of 22.0 total turnovers per game, which ranks ninth in the country.
  • On the other end of the floor, the Coloniels commit 16.5 turnovers per game. 

DEFENSE LEADS TO OFFENSE FOR RAMS

  • One of the keys to Rhode Island's win over Alabama Friday night was the ability to capitlize on the opponent's miscues.
  • The Rams scored 33 points off 22 Alabama turnovers.
  • This was a big jump from the first two games. Rhody had 14 points off turnovers against LIU, and then 17 at Maryland.
  • Rhode Island had 13 steals on the night, including four each by guards Fatts Russell and Tyrese Martin. In the first two games of the year, the Rams had 11 steals combined.

RUSSELL MAKING THINGS HAPPEN ON BOTH ENDS OF THE FLOOR

  • Junior Fatts Russell has been dishing the ball well on the offensive end of the floor, and creating turnovers on the defensive side.
  • Through three games, Russell has 16 assists, leading the way for an offense that has assists on 55 percent of its total field goals (44-of-80).
  • Russell has at least four assists in each game this season, including a season-high seven against LIU.
  • Conversely, he has just five turnovers on the year, four of which came in the same game.
  • Improved sharing of the ball has led to better shot selection as well. Russell is shooting .395 from the floor. He shot .338 last season and .352 as a freshman.
  • His .395 shooting was hurt by a 1-for-8 showing at No. 7 Maryland. In the games against LIU and Alabama, he was a combined 14-for-30 from the floor, good for a .467 shooting percentage.
  • On the other end of the floor, Russell has 10 steals through three games, with at least three in each content so far.
  • As a freshman, Russell averaged 0.8 steals per game, and then he had 1.8 per game last season.
  • Against Alabama, Russell also recorded a blocked shot.