Fatts Russell Is Steady Presence Atop Rhode Island's New-Look Roster

Fatts Russell

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The Rhode Island men figure to lean heavily on leading scorer and preseason A10 first team member Fatts Russell in 2020-2021 as they look to fill the void left by three departed starters from last season.

The burden on Russell, a 5’10 combo guard who led the Rams in points (18.8 pts), assists (4.6) and steals (2.9), will be substantially higher than it was a year ago as URI looks to replace over half of their scoring from a 21-9 campaign.

Watch the Rams LIVE on FloHoops during the 2020 Bubbleville

And it’s not just the starting lineup that will look different for head coach David Cox as only three players on this year’s roster-- Russell, Antwan Walker and Jermaine Harris-- saw the court in 2019-2020. All that turnover signals that Rhode Island is unlikely to duplicate their third-place conference finish (13-5), unless a talented influx of transfers can help ease some of that burden on URI’s star guard.

Among the new faces for Rhody with NCAA experience are twin brothers Makhi and Makhel Mitchell (Maryland), Jalen Carey (Syracuse), Malik Martin (Charlotte) and Allen Betrand (Towson). Junior college transfers Jeremy Sheppard and D.J. Johnson will also be new to the Rams’ rotation.

At 6’9 (Makhi) and 6’10 (Makhel), the Mitchell twins provide excellent size and skill around the rim, as both brothers were highly rated recruits coming out of Washington D.C. two years ago. Makhi was a top 100 prospect nationally his senior year, as was the Syracuse transfer Carey, who showed tremendous promise with the Orange as a freshman before playing only two games last year due to injury.

Martin, too, should be a major boost for the Rams coming off a Conference USA All-Defensive team season.

Still, high turnover in a season as unique as this one could foreshadow some growing pains for URI as they try to keep pace with Atlantic-10 favorites Richmond and Dayton. Fortunately, the Rams do know without a doubt who their first option is on offense, and their success early in the season may depend on the type of game Fatts Russell is having.

The new-look Rams open their 2020-2021 campaign with a strong test from Stephen F. Austin on Wednesday at 11:00 AM (FloHoops) as part of the Bubbleville slate of games. 

Big East Women's Notes: Dynamic Backcourt Forming At Seton Hall

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It was a light slate of games last week in the [category:Big East] as several programs were on pause because of COVID-19 protocols. But there were still some notable performances including the emergence of a transfer who will make an impact this season. 

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I'll Be Quirky: Uphill Climb As Hofstra Seeks 3rd Straight CAA Title

Hofstra

It’s been an eventful three weeks in between I’ll Be Quirkys for the Hofstra men’s basketball team. The Pride opened CAA play by sweeping William & Mary during the first weekend of 2021 and absorbed back-to-back painful losses to Northeastern in rematches of the 2020 CAA title game before getting routed by Delaware on Friday and salvaging a split of the series by a literal split second on Sunday.

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James Madison's Star Guard Matt Lewis Is 'Money' For The Dukes

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Folks knew coming into the 2020-21 season just how good Matt Lewis can be. The James Madison guard earned preseason Colonial Athletic Association Player of the Year, despite the Dukes being picked to finish ninth in the league. 

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Former William & Mary Star Nathan Knight Carves Out A Role In The NBA

Nathan Knight, W&M

The question stumped Nathan Knight: With the Atlanta Hawks among the NBA teams not sending a team to the G-League bubble, how and where would he be honing his craft right now if he hadn’t made the Hawks out of training camp?

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One Stat To Explain Each Big East Team

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With all the postponements, cancelations, and programs on pause, it's difficult to say exactly where we are in the Big East season. Some programs have played a robust schedule, others are just getting started. But it's not too early to dig into the stats and try to make sense of where each team sits in the standings.

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The Weekend That Was: Northeastern Tops Hofstra Twice & Charleston Magic

Northeastern

It didn’t take long for Northeastern to get the green light for the sequel to its adventure in time travel.

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Big East Women's Notes: Can St. John's Close The Gap?

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The women's basketball season continues to be hampered by postponements. Last week, UConn's showdown with Baylor was called off after Baylor head coach Kim Mulkey tested positive for COVID-19. 

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March 10, 2020: The Pandemic, The CAA Championship & Hofstra-Northeastern

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As the sun rose over Washington, D.C. on March 10, 2020, the only certainty about the outcome of the night’s biggest basketball game in town was the reverberations of the Hofstra-Northeastern clash would still be felt whenever the two teams played next. 

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Difficult Non-Conference Slate Helps Northeastern To Hot CAA Start

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Hard knocks before Colonial Athletic Association play have Northeastern setting the pace early in conference competition. 

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The 4 Biggest Surprises In The Big East

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UConn’s dominance was expected, as was the individual brilliance of Villanova’s Maddy Siegrist. But the first month of Big East women's basketball has had some surprises. Here are four of the biggest:

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