Prediction, Preview, and Odds
#663 Rhode Island 145.5 vs.
#664 Maryland -12
Saturday, November 9, 2019 at 9:00pm EST
Maryland Stadium, College Park
Written by Benjamin Hayes

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#663 University of Rhode Island
#664 University of Maryland, College Park
1-0
1-0
16-17
17-15-2
18-15
14-19-1
69
71
67
65

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Rhode Island meets No. 7 Maryland from the XFINITY Center in College Park, Md. at 9pmET. The Rams opened up with a 76-65 win over LIU at home on Tuesday, while the Terps crushed Holy Cross, 95-71 on the same night.

Rams have tough challenge

Beating Maryland would be a nice feather in the cap of head coach David Cox, who went 18-15 (9-9 A10) in his first season at the helm of Rhode Island. His team struggled early on but they did well to end the season, winning six of their last seven games. Getting five starters back doesn't hurt, led by 6-5 senior point guard Jeff Dowtin (15.3ppg, 47.5% FG) and senior forward Cyril Langevine (14.7ppg, 9.9rpg).

The Rams struggled to shoot in their opener against the Sharks of LIU-Brooklyn. Fatts Russell, a 5-10 junior guard, who averaged 14.2ppg last season, led the Rams with 18 points and seven assists in the opener on 6-of-12 shooting. Langevine added 16 points and 15 boards. The Rams had five players in double figures and outrebounded the Sharks by 16. But URI shot just 38.6% from the field and couldn't make this a blowout. LIU played just six players and was held to just 32.4% from the field.

The bench struggled some as Dana Tate went just 1-for-5 in 23 minutes and Mekhi Long went 0-for-4 in seven minutes of action. A bright spot was 6-7 freshman Jacob Toppin, who scored 11 points and grabbed seven boards off the bench.

"Sticks" Smith is the key to the Terps' success

Sophomore forward Jalen "Sticks" Smith (6-10, 225) came on Maryland's campus last season at about 190 pounds. That's fine if you are 6-1, but at 6-10, that's very thin. Hence the nickname "Sticks". Smith (11.7ppg, 6.8rpg) played alongside Bruno Fernando, who handled most of the physical paint play. For a thin player, he still managed a solid season, but really came alive in the NCAA Tournament, averaging 17 points, 10 rebounds and 3 blocks in two games.

Smith scored 16 points, grabbed 11 rebounds and blocked three shots in Maryland's opening win over Holy Cross. The Terps shot 48.7% from the field, but just 5-of-27 from beyond the arc. That's not a huge concern because their best two shooters-sophomores Eric Ayala and Aaron Wiggins-combined to shoot 1-for-12. Last season, Ayala made 40.6% of his three-point attempts. The 6-4, 205-pounder has moved to shooting guard, while senior Anthony Cowan (15.6ppg, 4.4apg) went back to point guard. Wiggins (8.3ppg, 41.3% 3pt) is expected to be the breakout candidate this season. he started and played 27 minutes against the Crusaders, while forward Darryl Morsell (15 points) moved to the bench, but still played 23 minutes.

The Terps do have some concerns at center replacing Fernando (13.6ppg, 10.6rpg). That player right now is Ricky Lindo Jr. (6-8, 220) but could be freshman Makhi Mitchell (6-9, 230), who also has a twin brother Makhel (6-10, 245) on the roster. Makhi had six points and three rebounds in eight minutes in the opener. Another big freshman Chol Marial (7-2, 230) could be available in about a month while nursing a leg injury. He has a 7-11 wingspan and is a legitimate rim protector at worse. So the Terps could be very deep when he becomes available.

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Full-Game Side Bet

Insiders Status:

Rating:

I think Maryland is a good team, but seventh in the nation? They struggled in the first half to put an outclassed Holy Cross team away. Sticks Smith is the closest thing they have to a superstar and he's not there yet. Wiggins might be better but he struggled in his first start. They don't have a center and their rotation is still shaky as Mark Turgeon is still experimenting with minutes. Not a big Turgeon fan either. Rhode Island is one of those scrappy teams that can hang with teams from bigger conferences and has the experience to not be awed by big arenas. Take Rhody in this one and I think they can give the Terps a scare.

Prediction: Rhode Island +13.5

Full-Game Total Pick

Insiders Status:

Rating:

Maryland put up 95 points in their first game and shot poorly from three-point range. Rhode Island also shot poorly but the tempo should be much faster-paced. Maryland was a slow-tempo team last year, but that was because they worked on getting the ball down low to Fernando. Smith is more of a face-up power forward and with all their depth, this is a team that should play faster and press a little (maybe). The Rams can run as well as they showed last season when they put up 94 points on UMass in early March. They are also 24-9 Over their last 33 road games.

Prediction: Over 145.5
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Written By Benjamin Hayes

Ben has been a sports writer for over 30 years, dabbling in college and pro basketball, college and pro football, baseball, college lacrosse, minor league baseball and even college gymnastics. He's also been involved in the gaming industry for over 25 years and has been looking to beat the books since he was 13!