Rhody Goes 3-0 in Italy, Looks to Carry Momentum Into Recruiting | Zagsblog
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Adam Zagoria covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
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Friday / June 21.
  • Rhody Goes 3-0 in Italy, Looks to Carry Momentum Into Recruiting

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    No sooner had Dan Hurley returned from leading Rhode Island on a 3-0 trip through Italy, than the second-year coach was already looking to carry that momentum into recruiting.

    The Rams expect to contend in the new-look Atlantic 10 Conference this season, but a year from now they will lose Xavier Munford, the leading returning scorer in the A-10, and Hurley is looking to replace him with a high-scoring guard.

    Rhody is in the hunt for Expressions Elite guard Jared Terrell — who is down to Rhode Island, Providence, Cincinnati and Oklahoma State — as well as New Mexico Junior College guard Jeff Newberry, who is looking at Rhody, West Virginia, LSU and Murray State, among others.

    “We are only graduating one senior next year and we have a lot of outstanding young talent,” Hurley, whose team went 8-21, 3-13 in the A-10 in his first year, told SNY.tv Wednesday.

    “For us right now a priority is bringing in somebody who can fill the void of the leading returning scorer in the Atlantic 10. But the way that we play, the opportunity that will be available to an incoming guard, somebody’s going to want that responsibility.”

    As for the trip to Italy, Hurley got a look at transfers Gilvydas Biruta, Jarelle Reischel and Biggie Minnis, as well as stud freshman E.C. Matthews and Hassan Martin. Matthews went for 23 points in the last game.

    “I think we learned that we’ve got some real depth this year,” Hurley said. “That we’re going to be able to play 10, 11 players and be able to maintain a level of aggressiveness at both ends of the court and play an attacking style.”

    Jordan Hare , a 6-10 sophomore, also played very well, going for 27 points and 12 boards in the last game and 11 and 11 in the first game.

    “He was a top 100 guy coming out of high school that was highly recruited,” Hurley said.

    The 6-8 Biruta, who is coming off sitting out a year after transferring from Rutgers, also had 22 points and 12 rebounds in the second game.  He averaged 9.7 points and 5.3 rebounds per game in his last season for the Scarlet Knights.

    “Gil played 19 minutes a game out there,” he said. “It was good for him to get some game experience out there and get some of the rust off.

    Heading into the new-look A-10 that loses Temple, Butler and Xavier, Rhody figures to contend.

    “We expect to be in the mix,” Hurley said. “Last year we were competitive and I think people respected us as a program. I think we really need to take a jump from competitive and respectable to good and that’s a tough jump to make.

    “But based on what we saw this summer, we’re excited about Nov. 8.”

    Rhody will have a chance for some resume wins with a schedule that includes a probable date with Arizona in the Preseason NIT and tilts at LSU, at SMU, at George Mason and Providence at home.

    Photo: CoxSportsOnline.com

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    Adam Zagoria is a Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. A contributor to The New York Times and SportsNet New York (SNY), he is also the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist and filmmaker. His articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide. He also won an Emmy award for his work on the SNY mini-documentary on Syracuse guard Tyus Battle. A veteran Ultimate Frisbee player, he has competed in numerous National and World Championships and, perhaps more importantly, his teams won the Westchester Summer League (WSL) championships in 2011 and 2013. He lives in Manhattan with his wife and children.

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