Rhode Island (14-10, 7-3) Likely Starters
No. NAME YR POS HT WT PPG RPG Hometown 20 Jimmy Baron SO G 6-2 190 14.7 2.2 E. Greenwich, RI 14 Parfait Bitee JR G 6-2 185 8.0 3.3 Yaounde, Cameroon 25 Will Daniels JR F 6-8 220 16.6 5.3 Hyde Park, NY 32 Jonathan Cruz FR F 6-7 210 1.3 0.9 Lawrence, MA 33 Kahiem Seawright SO F 6-8 220 10.4 7.8 Uniondale, NY
The Rams average 6 feet, 5.6 inches compared to Duquesne's active roster, which averages 6 feet, 2.2 inches.
Coach Jim Baron has two scholarship (freshmen Keith Cothran and Terence Grier) and a little-used walk-on (junior Jamael Lynch) available to relieve the backcourt starters. Front court athletes account for 62 percent of URI's roster. (At Duquesne, the backcourt comprises 73% of the active lineup.)
URI's normal starting two guard, Jon Lucky, had ankle surgery this season. He last saw action on December 2, 2006.
Cothran first saw action on Dec. 9, 2006, He missed URI's first nine games while awaiting the OK from the NCAA Initial Eligibility Clearinghouse. The good news was his availability after Lucky's injury.
One of the freshman, most likely Cothran, could start in Cruz's slot. Regardless, URI has got excellent production from their non-starters. The reserves are averaging 21.8 points off the bench so far this season.
Low Scores Lately
Rhody, which averages 75.3 ppg, comes into the Duquesne game scoring under 60 points in their last two outings -- 45 in their one-point win at Fordham and 55 in the 22-point loss at Massachusetts.
Will Daniels - Rhode Island's top returning scorer from 2005-06 - leads the Rams and ranks eighth in the Atlantic 10 in scoring at 16.6 points per outing. He has registered double-figures in 22 of URI's 24 games.
Jimmy Baron, the son of URI's head coach, is the only player in the country to rank among the top 15 on two national statistical lists: free throw percentage (89.2%) and three-point percentage (49.7%).
Baron is third in FT percentage and second in 3-point accuracy in the A-10.
Atlantic 10 Standings
That is lilkely to change before Sunday's tip as Xavier is taking on #4 George Washington (6-3) Sat. night in the Smith Center.
Atlantic 10 Honor
Baron was named Atlantic 10 Co-Player of the Week on December 10th. He averaged 24.5 points in the Rams pair of wins over Brown and Utah. Baron hit 73.7% of his attempts from the floor (14-19), including 76.5% from the perimeter (13-17).
The sophomore scored a career-high 28 points against the Ivy League team and scored two game-winning free throws versus Utah.
He shared the honor with Ahmad Nivins of Saint Joseph's.
Coach Baron on the Dukes
"The way that they're getting up and down the court, your head goes back and forth like you're watching a tennis match." head coach Jim Baron joked. "They're playing all 10 of their players, pressing and trying to turn you over on defense. On offense, they look to score as quickly as possible. We'll hopefully be able to use our athleticism to be able to play at that accelerated pace."
"Duquesne has some very talented players." Baron commented. "(Robert) Mitchell is one of the best freshmen in the league, he's won the weekly award a few times. He can score, along with (Kieron) Achara and (Aaron) Jackson. (Scott) Grote is another good freshman, with the ability to knock down the jumper. And I think it goes without saying that Ron Everhart has done a tremendous coaching job this season."
Rhode Island is averaging 72.3 percent from the free throw line, third behind Xavier (2-73.2%) and Duquesne (1-75.9%). URI has proven they can preserve a lead from the stripe. In the last five minutes of their win over UMass on Jan. 24th, the Rams connected on 16-of-18 (88.9%) from the free throw line, including all of the last 14 attempts.
More on the Stretch
Rhode Island is averaging 38.9 ppg in the second half of games with 32.4% of these points coming in the final five minutes of the game. URI is averaging 12.9 points, while shooting 49.4% (87-176) from the floor and 77.2% (115-149) from the charity stripe during the time span.