Valparaiso (58) Vs. Rhode Island (55) 11/17/2015

#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/

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St. Francis Brooklyn (51) vs. Bryant (61) 02/28/2015

#14 of 351

Can Bryant University spend a couple of bucks putting up signs on the campus to the Chace Arena? Even the arena building itself does not have the name on it. I was driving around for a few minutes before I luckily found the team bus parked in front.

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I did a double take looking at the program seeing that Bryant played St. Francis four times in the year. There are two St. Francis teams in the league –  one from Brooklyn and one from Pennsylvania. I can’t think of another league that has this situation.

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I was very impressed with the Bryant student section. They were loud the entire game. Given the fact that St. Francis was 15-2 in the NEC, the win by Bryant (11-6 in the NEC) was an upset.

St. Francis had a player Gunnar Olafsson from Iceland. I have never seen a collegiate basketball player from Iceland before. I would have gone far enough to say that Iceland did not have a basketball within its borders.

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A shout out to Stadium Journey for recommending Parente’s Restuaraunt down the road. I would have driven right by this place otherwise. I finished the evening off with salmon, fries and garlic bread.

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Review from Stadium Journey: http://www.stadiumjourney.com/stadiums/chace-athletic-center-s716