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TCU Basketball Preview Series: Rhode Island

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We are counting down the days to the start of the 2015-2016 TCU Basketball season with daily previews of the Frogs' opponents. Our journey continues today with a look at TCU's trip south of the border to face the Rhode Island Rams.

Anthony Gruppuso-USA TODAY Sports

Our daily TCU Basketball opponent previews now head south of the border as the Frogs travel to Mexico to participate in the 2015 Cancun Challenge. Up first will be the Rhode Island Rams.

Game 4: Rhode Island Rams

Game Information

Date: Tuesday, November 24
Time: 5:00 PM
Location: Hard Rock Hotel Riviera Maya - Cancun, Mexico
TV: CBS Sports Network

Know the Foe

Conference: Atlantic 10
Location: Kingston, Rhode Island
Head Coach: Dan Hurley

2014-2015 Record: 23-10 (13-5)
Postseason: NIT Second Round
Key Losses: F Gilvydas Birtua
Key Returners: G E.C. Matthews, F Hassan Martin, G Jared Terrell
New Additions: F Nicola Akele, G Four McGlynn, G Christion Thompson

Summary

The Rams return a solid core of their NIT team from a year ago. E.C. Matthews is the engine that makes Rhode Island go. He led the team averaging 17.0 points per game last season while Hassan Martin chipped in another 11.4 points and 7.7 rebounds per game. Both Matthew and Martin look to lead the Rams back to the Postseason this year.

Much of Rhode Island's success in 2014-2015 came on the defensive side of the ball. Dan Hurley, who is entering his third season as the Rams head coach, oversaw a defense that allowed just 60.2 points per game, a mark that ranked 30th in the nation. The team also averaged 5.5 blocks a game, the 12th most in the country last year.

Prediction

TCU 63, Rhode Island 57

Every indication is that this game will be a knock-out style defensive battle. Both teams have very talented returners on defense and don't necessarily blow teams away with their offense. The first team to 60 will likely take this one and advance to the Championship Game of the Cancun Challenge.

URI Preview Graphic

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Opponent Team Previews:
Game 1: Southeastern Louisiana
Game 2: Houston Baptist
Game 3: South Dakota State
Game 4: Rhode Island
Game 5: Maryland /Illinois State (10/18)
Game 6: SMU (10/19)
Game 7: Colgate (10/20)
Game 8: Washington (10/21)
Game 9: Prairie View A&M (10/22)
Game 10: Abilene Christian (10/23)
Game 11: Bradley (10/24)
Game 12: Delaware State (10/25)
Games 13 & 24: Oklahoma State (10/26)
Games 14 & 25: West Virginia (10/27)
Games 15 & 20: Texas (10/28)
Games 16 & 29: Baylor (10/30)
Games 17 & 23: Kansas (10/31)
Games 18 & 28: Texas Tech (11/1)
Games 19 & 27: Iowa State (11/2)
Game 21: Tennessee (11/3)
Games 22 & 31: Oklahoma (11/4)
Games 26 & 30: Kansas State (11/5)