#17 of 351
Welcome to season 2 of my journey to visit all 351 Division 1 campus arenas. I begin this year in Rhode Island traveling 2 hours from Connecticut for a 10am start. The game was part of ESPN’s Tip Off Marathon where one could watch basketball for 24 hours straight. This particular visit earned me the Rhode Island stamp on the Basketball Passport site (http://bbpassport.com/) since I have now completed visiting all four of the D1 campus sites in RI.
I was pleased to meet Russell Steinberg and Peter Casey. Both are college basketball junkies like myself who I became acquainted with on Twitter. Peter runs the excellent college basketball site (http://bbpassport.com/) which logs games and achievements by subscribers for all major sports. Russell’s tweets have made me laugh many a time over the past year. To top it off, they gave me their extra ticket in section 112 replacing my nosebleed seat in section 302.
The Rhody’s fans expectations have been tampered a bit with the loss of star guard E.C. Matthews for the season from an ACL injury. Yet the crowd and especially the student section were there in full force. Rhody hung with Valparaiso for most of the game. Two missed three point baskets at the end by Rhody would have sent the game into overtime. In the end, Rhody’s poor foul shooting was the cause for the loss.
It was interesting to see Kuran Iverson playing for Rhody. As a UCONN and local high school basketball fan, I followed Kuran from high school. He is a Connecticut resident that played for Memphis before transferring to Hurley’s club. He appeared to be labeled for stardom out of high school but has quickly withered on the vine. He is athletic but too much a shoot first mentality for my taste.
Overall, Ryan Center looked modern and clean but again as with many of the college arenas, they leave very little room in the hallways for folks to move around. I guess money has to be saved somewhere. I ate at the Mew Tavern in Wakefield upon the recommendation of the Stadium Journey site. It was funny to watch the frazzled bar staff trying to cope with a extremely large crowd because of the game considering Tuesday’s lunch time is relatively slow.
Stadium Journey – http://www.stadiumjourney.com/stadiums/thomas-m.-ryan-center-s704)
Stadium and Arena Visits – http://stadiumandarenavisits.com/visitsreviews/100-ryan-center/