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E.C. Matthews Set to Return vs Charleston

After a week off, the Rhode Island Rams are back in action, hosting College of Charleston in a Saturday afternoon tilt. Rhody is 5-3 on the season, and looking to get back on track after a loss to Alabama. The game can be seen on Yurview New England Channel 4 and 1004 at 4:00pm on December 16th.

Will Matthews Return?

Coach Dan Hurley said this week that Matthews is likely to play, which would be the first time since he broke his wrist on a hard drive to the basket in a November 13th loss to Nevada.

While Matthews is likely to play reduced minutes and may not start his return is no doubt a huge boost for the Rams. Anytime you can add a player who has been the cornerstone of your program for a half-decade, that’s going to be a big help.
With Matthews back in the fold, the Rams add another guard to their already deep stable. While Seniors Jared Terrell and Jarvis Garrett have picked up the slack, sophomore point guard Jeff Dowtin has struggled to build on his terrific play he showed during last season’s Atlantic 10 and NCAA tournament runs. And of course freshman Fatts Russell has lived up to the “Philly Baller” hype, as he’s a threat to go for twenty on any given night.

Big Picture

Coach Dan Hurley has Rhody in an excellent position through the first month of the season, especially considering the loss of Matthews. Chris DiSano was asked about this, and he agrees that URI is where they want to be heading into the ever-closer A-10 schedule.

“Playing one of the most challenging non conference schedules in the country, the Rams RPI is NCAA-Tourney caliber level with three nonconference games remaining. All three remaining opponents are quality programs, but in playing at home the Rams have an excellent chance to emerge at 8-3 in the nonconference season, including wins against ranked Seton Hall and Providence — terrific for a team without its 1st team all-A10 guard for a month,” said DiSano.

For a team with designs on another NCAA Tournament run, and playing in a conference that hasn’t lived up to expectations, Rhody has done what they need to do so far in this season. Although they face quality opponents these next three games at home, vs Charleston, Iona and Florida Gulf Coast, all were scheduled as wins. Taking care of business at the Ryan Center will undoubtedly put the Rams where they want to be heading into Atlantic 10 play.

Watch the URI Rams vs. College of Charleston Saturday December 16th at 4:00pm EST on Yurview New England (Cox Channel 4 and 1004).