This was supposed to be Rhode Island's year. The Rams were well position for a run at the Atlantic 10 title and their first trip to the NCAA Tournament this century. Dan Hurley's squad took a significant blow opening night though when star guard E.C. Matthews went down with a knee injury in the Rams 65-42 victory over American.
In an official release today Rhode Island announced that Matthews will indeed miss the rest of the 2015-16 season. E.C. Matthews also issued the following statement:
The injury I sustained on Friday night vs. American will unfortunately keep me from playing the rest of this season. While the news has been a lot to process in such a short period of time, I know that it is a temporary setback and I will be back stronger and hungrier than ever before. Whether it is a rehab or physical therapy session, I will fight to get better everyday. This is a new challenge and I am up for it.
I plan on using this setback as an opportunity to continue to grow as a student, a leader, and a man. I will be at every study hall, every practice, every film session, every game - no different than before.
I will need my brothers - my teammates and coaches - to help me through this. And I want them to know how much I love them and I will be there for anything they need. I understand the challenge of this journey and I am built to conquer this obstacle.
Most of all, I want to say to our most loyal Rhody fans - our students and all those who support us day-in and day-out - I want to see you all here at the Ryan Center. Starting with our game with Valpo on Tuesday, be here and be loud. Get behind our team like never before - we haven't stopped our HUNT.
Matthews averaged 16.9 points, 4.6 rebounds, and 2 assists last season. Rhode Island hosts mid-major power Valparaiso on Tuesday as part of the ESPN College Hoops Marathon.