Posted on: January 13, 2010 2:01 pm
Here's Wednesday's Dear Gary ...
Dear Gary: Last week Rhode Island got 52 votes from the AP. They then win at Akron and lose in overtime to No. 21 Temple, and then they get no votes this week. What gives? Not enough people watching the A-10?
Only 16 of the 65 AP voters had Rhode Island on their ballots last week, and eight of those 16 had the Rams ranked 24th or 25. Then, like you said, they won at Akron and lost at home to Temple. And I'm assuming those 16 voters just decided that if you can't beat Temple at home you probably shouldn't be ranked, especially when previously unranked Miami and Baylor had impressive wins, especially when Rhode Island's body of work features some nice victories (Boston College, Oklahoma State) but no great ones.
So it's not a conspiracy, Andrew.
There are lots of problems with the Associated Press poll.
But I don't think 16 voters dropping Rhode Island is one of them.
Posted on: November 18, 2009 4:10 pm
It's a light schedule Wednesday night in college basketball.
Only two Top 25 (and one) teams are playing.
No. 4 Texas hosts Western Carolina and and No. 11 Butler plays at Northwestern. But one other thing worth noting is that Rhode Island will finally tipoff the post-Jimmy-Baron era, becoming the 347th of 347 Division I schools to play a game this season. The opponent is Brown. And assuming the game doesn't get postponed, we will be completely out of 0-0 teams by 10 p.m. ET.
Hooray for that.
Posted on: September 3, 2009 11:53 pm
Edited on: September 4, 2009 11:13 am
There are lots of ways to release a schedule.
Most schools do it with a press release.
Kentucky did it with a TV special.
But Mike Laprey at Rhode Island tried a completely unique idea this week, and if his hope was to get some otherwise unattainable attention, well, mission accomplished, because here I am writing about it, and I'm pretty sure this is the first time I've ever blogged about the non-league schedule of an Atlantic 10 school.
What Laprey did was release a non-league game every 15 minutes at GoRhody.com .
He started by announcing the game against Providence.
He ended by announcing the game against Boston College.
The whole thing took roughly three hours.
"One person emailed me around 3:45 p.m., right after we started, to tell me that I ruined his productivity for the rest of the work day because he was glued to GoRhody.com," said Laprey, the school's associate athletic director for sports communications. "That was the goal, to get people checking back often and participating in a new way of thinking and disseminating information. Although, that person's boss might disagree."
By releasing the schedule this way, Laprey was able to bring attention to particular opponents and write paragraphs explaining the history of the series, what the opponent accomplished last season, what the opponent has coming back, etc. Sure, it was a lot of work and time consuming. But it was effective in how it brought a constant stream of traffic to GoRhody.com, and in how it made URI fans focus on each opponent individually and appreciate the details behind the names.
"A list of dates and times doesn't tell you that we're playing seven postseason teams in our non-conference slate, or that Drexel's returning an All-CAA caliber backcourt," Laprey said. "This past January, we hosted Akron at the Ryan Center in the first year of a home-and-home. Two months later, they're giving Gonzaga a 40-minute fight in the NCAA Tournament. It's important for us to let our fans know the quality and caliber of our opponents."
And if it keeps them busy for an entire afternoon, even better.
Posted on: March 7, 2009 4:54 pm
Edited on: March 7, 2009 5:13 pm
CHAPEL HILL, N.C. -- Two of the last four in Jerry Palm's bracket this morning were Penn State and Rhode Island.
The Nittany Lions lost to Iowa (i.e., a bad team).
The Rams lost to UMass (i.e., a bad team).
By RPI standards, that's Penn State's worst loss of the season and Rhode Island's second-worst loss of the season. Both schools' RPIs subsequently dropped into the 60s (Rhode Island is 63; Penn State is 64). And when you consider that no team with an RPI of 60 or worse received an at-large bid to the NCAA tournament last season, it's fair to assume Penn State and Rhode Island will enter their conference tournaments with some work to do.
Posted on: November 20, 2008 2:25 pm
One more interesting note on Jimmy Baron: Mike Laprey, Rhode Island's assistant athletic director for sports communications, tackled a nice project this summer when he went back and watched every Rams game from last season and charted how many 3-pointers Baron took from the so-called new 3-point line.
What did he find?
Laprey found that 123 of Baron's 244 3-point attempts last season came from beyond 20 feet, nine inches -- otherwise known as the new 3-point line that was installed before this season. Also worth noting is that Baron made 55 of those 123 (44.8 percent), meaning he actually made a higher percentage from farther away considering he shot 40.6 percent overall from 3-point range.
And yes, I believe there is an explanation.
It makes sense to conclude that cleaner looks come from deeper, right? If so, then a great shooter with unlimited range (like Baron) should always make more attempts from a deeper distance because those attempts offer the best looks, whereas shots right on top of the 3-point line (old or new) are typically the ones that are contested.
So that's one lesson.
Another is that it would be wise to guard Baron well beyond the 3-point line.