The Rhode Island Rams have continued to build their non-conference schedule ahead of the 2023-24 season, also facing the Delaware Blue Hens.
The Gazelle Group announced on Tuesday morning that the Rhode Island Rams are set to play the Delaware Blue Hens as a part of the Holiday Hoopfest on Saturday, December 16th.
The Holiday Hoopfest will take place in Elmont, New York, at the UBS Arena. The venue is home to the New York Islanders of the National Hockey League and has welcomed several top artists, including Harry Styles, Dua Lipa, and Post Malone.
The event will feature two other matchups, which include the Saint Joseph’s Hawks against the Iona Gaels and the Towson Tigers against the Bryant Bulldogs.
This will mark the first men’s basketball meeting between Rhode Island and Delaware, who both are expected to be improved programs within their perspective conferences next season.
The Blue Hens are coming off a 17-16 season and finished sixth in the CAA after going 8-10 in conference play.
Last season, Delaware was led by guard Jameer Nelson Jr who averaged 20.6 points, 4.6 rebounds, and 3.6 assists. The 6-foot-1 point guard announced that he will transfer to TCU for the 2023-24 season.
While the team may be losing one of their primary scorers in Nelson, they did manage to retain seven players from last year, including Jyáre Davis. The 6-foot-7 forward averaged 15.3 points, 5.6 rebounds, and shot 46.8 percent last season. We can expect Davis to perform well again for the Blue Hens in 2023.
The Rhode Island Rams will look forward to starting fresh next season after going 9-22 overall and 5-13 in Atlantic 10 play in year one of the Archie Miller era in Kingston. URI is in full rebuild mode after losing several key players to the transfer portal, like Ishmael Leggett, and retaining just five players from last year’s roster.
The Rams added several assets to the backcourt, including High Point transfer Jaden House, JUCO product Always Wright, Bradley transfer Zek Montgomery, and freshmen guards Cam Estevez and Connor Dubsky.
While there are a lot of unfamiliar faces in the Ryan Center right now, one player we can expect to make an immediate impact is Quinnipiac transfer, Luis Kortright. The 6-foot-3 guard posted 15 points, five rebounds, three assists, and five steals to lift the Bobcats to a 67-62 season-opening victory over the Rams.
When the ball is tipped between the Rams and Blue Hens, we can expect an exciting battle featuring two mid-major programs on the cusp of becoming contenders in the future.