Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Greetings from Rhode Island

As a native Rhode Islander, figured I'd take in the annual Ocean State border war between URI and Providence tonight. Great atmosphere at URI's sold-out Ryan Center, with two rather evenly-matched, NCAA Tournament-caliber teams going at it. The Rams hold a 33-28 lead at halftime.

UConn plays the Friars twice this season. The Huskies have lost three straight home games to PC -- in 2003 (on Senior Day at Gampel), 2004 (the infamous Ryan Gomes game) and last year, when the Friars came back from a double-digit halftime deficit and turned the final 20 minutes into a fast-breaking, slam dunk contest. This year's PC team has plenty of quality guards but no real inside presence -- something the Huskies could exploit.

Incidentally, URI gets a great infusion of energy off the bench from a couple of New Haven-area kids. Hamden's Lamonte Ulmer, a 6-6 sophomore, can jump out of the building -- and nearly did when he slammed home an alley-oop pass from Jimmy Baron, the coach's son, early in this game. And the Rams don't miss a beat when New Haven's Keith Cothran, a 6-4 guard, provides instant offense off the bench.

Also worth noting that UConn transfter Ben Eaves is now at URI. As a transfer, he obviously has to sit out this season.

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