Duquesne at URI Preview

by Rogabee

Rhode Island enters the game at 3-14 overall, 0-2 in the conference with losses to G-Dub and Richmond. 
The Dukes are 10-7, 1-2 in A10 play.

About URI:

(Note:  I haven't seen URI play aside one game this year, and that was before Billy Baron, a transfer to play under his father, was eligible at the end of the first semester.)  While Billy hasn't shown quite the sharpshooting ability of Jimmy, he's helping out much more on the rebounding end and is swiping the ball more than his brother typically would, averaging 5.3 boards and just under 1 steal per game. 

Starters last game vs. GW:
TJ Buchanan 6-3 frosh guard
Jonathan Holton 6-9 frosh forward
Orion Outerbridge 6-9 senior forward (5th in the A10 in both boards and blocks, was reported to be suffering some from back spasms though the GW game)
Andre Malone 6-3 senior guard
Mike Powell, 5-11 frosh guard

Baron played 30 minutes off the bench.

Other quick URI notes:
Mike Powell has been the A10 Rookie of the Week for the last 2 weeks.
Ryan Brooks is expected to miss the game with academic issues.
Malesevic, a candidate for Most Improved Player in the A10 last year, is still out with a broken hand he suffered against Yale.
Andre Malone, a junior, is also an eligible transfer after coming from Auburn after being forced to sit out the first semester.  He scored 14 against GW.

Keys for URI:
1.  Play Defense!  URI is 322nd in the country in effective shooting percentage of opponents, allowing opponents to shoot an effective field goal percentage of 55% (by comparison, note that Houston Baptist who played virtually no defense is 330th at 56%).  The Rams are also an anemic 321st in scoring defense and 328th in overall field goal percentage.

2.  URI's FT shooting has been extremely poor outside of Baron.  Overall URI's FT shooting has been worse than the Dukes, which says a lot.

3.  Protect the Ball.  Last game vs. GW the Rams only committed 8 turnovers.  They'll need to hold onto the ball against the Dukes guard-oriented attack.

Key for Duquesne:
Defensive Rebounding:  URI is 12th in the country in offensive rebounding percentage.  Against the smallish Dukes, how well URI can rebound the ball off their misses will be key.  The Dukes are 337th in the country on the defensive glass, creating a huge mismatch in favor of the Rams.  If the Dukes can rebound the ball, this is a game I think they should win.

My Prediction:
Duquesne 73, URI 65.

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