The state of Rhode Island will be featured heavily on Sunday’s college basketball board and the Rhode Island Rams will look to do the state proud when they play host to the College of Charleston Cougars.
Rhode Island Rams vs College of Charleston Cougars (-10, 148.5)
Since Pat Kelsey took over as Charleston’s head coach prior to the 2021-22 season, the Cougars have been an uptempo team, but the team has decided this season to slow things down, entering Saturday 150th in the country in possessions per game.
Injuries have been a big reason for Charleston’s tempo shift as Kelsey likes to have a rotation of nine or 10 players that he can rely on and three of the 10 players that are averaging at least 10 minutes for Charleston have missed at least one game this season.
One of the Charleston players that has not missed a game to this point is Reyne Smith, who leads the team in made 3-point shots and is tied for second on the team with 11.1 points per game, but left the team’s most recent game against Florida Atlantic after suffering a lower body injury.
The Charleston offense scored 55 points in the first 25:11 of game time with Smith on the floor in their game against Florida Atlantic before being outscored 38-19 the final 14:49 of the game to lose 38-19 after holding a lead at halftime.
Even if Smith can play, as the extent of his injury is unknown to the public, he likely will not be at 100 percent for a Charleston team that has struggled with their outside shooting as their 28.9% 3-point shooting percentage entered Saturday 302nd in the nation’s top.
As for the Rhode Island offense, they have their own shooting problems, making only 56.5% of their free throws, which ranks 360th among the 362 Division I teams.
On defense, Rhode Island has failed to generate turnovers, ranking 356th in turnovers forced per play on defense, but have forced teams to work for points, ranking 306th in the country in total possessions per game.
With Charleston dealing with the possibility of Smith missing this game for a team that was 190th in points scored on a per possession basis to begin with coupled with Rhode Island’s slow tempo and it leads to Sunday’s game being one that will feature plenty of defense.
The Play: Rhode Island vs. Charleston Under 148.5