It’s conference game 2 for the Charlotte 49ers as they are up in Rhode Island to take on the Rams at 2pm. We reached out to fellow Fansided blogger Dave Ascoli at RhodyRampage to give us a peek at the Rams and what he expects to happen.
1. Rhode Island is 5-9 right now. What are some of the team’s strengths and weaknesses that you have seen while observing the team?
Through the first 14 games, Rhody’s obvious strength has been on the defensive end. In most of their contests they’ve been able to play the pace that they want to play, and they’ve kept most games close this season. The weakness is clearly on offense – only Xavier Munford has been able to give them consistent scoring. Ram fans are already wary of prolonged scoring droughts, and with Charlotte’s defense, I think you can expect a few of those this afternoon.
2. Dan Hurley is in his first season with the team. Record notwithstanding, how has he been able to leave his prints on the program early on? What has been the fans’ response to his performance thus far in light of Jim Baron’s early success at Canisius? (Ed. note: just before we did this, Canisius had suffered a bad loss to 2-win team Siena. –SH)
The two biggest pluses seen with this Rhody team this year are defense and energy. Jim Baron was a run and gun coach, but this year’s squad likes to slow it down, play tight D, and work for good shots. As for Baron’s team this year, URI fans are keeping an eye on them, but honestly, Ram fans are too excited about Hurley to get too wrapped up in a MAAC team.
3. How do you think the Rams will stack up to the rest of the A-10 going forward?
The goal that Hurley spelled out this year was to just get to Brooklyn, so that’s the target. It’s no doubt going to be difficult, especially in a 16 team league this season. The Rams will need to snag a few upset wins to get there, but with Rhode Island’s defense, anything is possible.
4. To win, who are some of the players the Niners will need to stop?
It all starts with Xavier Munford. He’s second in the A-10 in scoring and figures to be an all-conference player. Nikola Malesevic, Mike Powell, and Andre Malone are all guys to keep an eye on, but Charlotte figures to be a tough team inside. If the Rams can’t win with guard play, well… they won’t win.
5. Finally, your prediction of the final score.
I think Charlotte is too tough down low. I think they’ll win the rebounding battle and come away with an ugly, low-scoring win. I’ll say 63-57 49ers.
Much thanks to Dave for his time in doing this for us!