URI Sweeps Weekly Atlantic 10 Awards, Prepares for St. Louis Tuesday
Tuesday, January 07, 2014
Xavier Munford has been named Atlantic 10 Player of the Week for the week of December 30th-January 5th, and E.C. Matthews has been named Conference Rookie of the Week as well.
Both players averaged 21 points per game in 2 games last week, but it’s the 2 wins on the road for the Rams as a team that really caught the eye of the Conference. URI’s wins at Brown and at LSU moved the team to 9-6 on the season, already an improvement on last year’s 8-21 record.
It’s the first time 2 URI players have swept the A-10 weekly awards since 1992, according to gorhody.com.
The awards were announced on the A-10’s weekly coaches’ conference call Monday morning. URI Head Coach Dan Hurley spoke and took questions from members of the media, saying he’s excited for the start of league play and he thinks the early season struggles the team faced on the road definitely prepared them for the Brown and LSU games.
“Those early learning experiences in tough spots I think gave us the resolve,” Hurley said.
URI’s win over LSU was one of 3 wins for the Atlantic 10 over the Southeastern Conference last week, helping the A-10 jump the SEC in the Conference RPI ratings. The A-10 is now ranked as the 6th best conference in Division 1 for men’s basketball.
Hurley also praised Tuesday’s opponent Saint Louis multiple times during the conference call. The Rams won a wild 82-80 game at St. Louis last season, especially surprising considering St. Louis’ 13-3 final conference record. St. Louis is 13-2 thus far this season.
Hurley was quick to temper expectations for Tuesday, however. While he spent plenty of time praising last season’s A-10 champions, he continued to harp on the process of building a basketball culture and rebuilding the program at Rhode Island.
“This was not a quick-fix situation and it still isn’t,” said Hurley.
Tuesday's game tips off at 7 p.m. at the Ryan Center.
To listen to the 8 minute portion of Monday's call in which Hurley spoke, click here.