Team preview: Rhode Island

Blue Ribbon Yearbook previews the 2006-07 college basketball season, exclusively on Insider.

Updated: October 18, 2006, 4:23 PM ET
Blue Ribbon Yearbook
Editor's Note: ESPN Insider has teamed with Blue Ribbon College Basketball Yearbook to provide a comprehensive look at all Division I teams. To order the complete 2006-07 edition of Blue Ribbon College Basketball Yearbook, visit www.blueribbonyearbook.com or call 1-866-805-BALL (2255).

(Information in this team report is as of October 1.)

COACH AND PROGRAM

As unfortunate as the injuries to Dawan Robinson and Jamaal Wise were during the 2004-05 season, the return for 2005-06 by the pair of Ram stars was equally welcomed.

But even with Robinson earning Atlantic 10 first-team All-Conference honors (he finished ninth in scoring at 15.7 points per game, fifth in steals and sixth in assists), and Wise leading the team with 5.9 rebounds per game, URI managed just a 14-14 record. The return of the dynamic duo postponed a Rams youth movement by one year.

That season is now here.

Three other seniors also departed URI after last season, so just two starters are back. This is probably coach Jim Baron's youngest team since he landed in The Ocean State in 2001.

"I think we've been kind of fortunate in trying to turn it around with only having one losing season the last four years," Baron said. "I think that we had a couple of speed bumps with the injuries to Dawan Robinson and to Jamaal Wise that really, I think & it stops your momentum. Especially after we had two 20-win seasons, it sort of slows your momentum down, but you have to make adjustments.

"Now we're at the point where we have five freshmen coming in and a junior college kid to go along with the nucleus of guys that we have coming back. Guys are going to have to grow up a little more quickly with this group coming in."

ALSO SEE