The University of Rhode Island Woman’s Basketball team finished 11th in season standings and with an impressive 10-4 record at home. URI had its ups and downs this season. Rhode Island had success at the beginning of this season, however, the Rams did not finish as they expected. The Rams were led on and off the court by their seniors and head coach, Tammi Reiss. Coach Reiss implemented a new system at the University of Rhode Island that the players learned to adjust. Rhode Island Woman’s Basketball fans can expect to see Coach Reiss’ style of play at the Ryan Center for years to come.
I spoke with Coach Reiss on her thoughts of this season, “I was very happy with how the season went this year. We as a staff had the goals of building the foundation of culture this year, getting the student-athletes to buy into our vision, putting a better product on the floor (effort, energy, etc) and tallying more win totals than last year. As a team, I feel that we accomplished those goals. That is a testament to the young ladies! I am very thankful to each and every one of them.” The Rams finished with five more wins than the previous year and climbed up the Atlantic 10 standings by three places. Coach Reiss did a great job of bringing in new offensive and defensive schemes this season which definitely impacted their performance.
The Rams’ success did not only come from Coach Reiss but, their seniors who performed well and earned post-season accolades. Nicole Jorgensen was named to the All-Conference First Team after leading the Rams with 16.0 points and 8.3 rebounds per game. The Quincy, Mass. native started every game for the Rams in her last season with Rhode Island, and her 10 double-doubles led the Atlantic 10. Throughout the year she climbed up the all-time scoring list and finished her career sixth-best all-time with her 1,331 career points. Jorgensen became just the fifth player in URI history to surpass 1,000 points and 800 rebounds, finishing with 811, fifth-best all-time. Davida Dale was named to the All-Conference Third Team. She led the A-10 with her 5.0 assists per game. Her 135 assists this year sit fifth-best in Rhody’s record book. After taking on the role of primary ball-handler this year, Dale played in 15 games without leaving the floor, including a seven-game stretch without a sub. Coach Reiss has hopes for the two stars, “I really believe Nicole Jorgensen and Davida Dale have a shot to play professionally overseas. I also believe Nicole has a good shot to be invited to a WNBA training camp. Nicole Jorgensen, Davida Dale, and Megan Oberg will all be graduating and will create space on their roster.”
It will be difficult to replace two stars, however, Coach Reiss does believe in the Rams going forward, “We developed our offensive schemes around Davida and Nicole due to their skill level. So we really ran sets that put these two players in the position to make decisions and score. They were our go-to players. Next year we have an abundance of talent coming in. Very skilled players at multiple positions. So we will have skill and depth. We will be playing at a much faster pace next year! A lot more transition offense and secondary offense.” The Rams have been and will continue to recruit this offseason to add depth and continue to improve the roster.
Coach Reiss’ connections will open the door for several players not just in the United States but, all over the world to get an opportunity at the University of Rhode Island. Coach Reiss spoke on what she looks for when recruiting, “I look first and foremost at their motor. Do they play hard and Compete. Then I evaluate all the intangibles, are they coachable, good teammate, communication, body language, etc. I then evaluate their skill level and do they fit into our system.” Each and every player has their own skill that they can add to this talented lineup and they come from all over the world including France. Coach Reiss spoke on recruitment in France, “We have multiple players from France and overseas because of the relationships and connections Adeniyi Amadou, the Associate Head Coach has developed. He is from Paris, France and really has spent several years developing relationships with the top European Coaches and Academies. International Recruiting will be our advantage in the A-10. We will be able to get some very good players from overseas without the heavy US completion for them.”
The future looks bright for the Rhode Island Woman’s Basketball team. Coach Reiss will continue to lead this team in the right direction and on the path to success. Coach Reiss and her coaching staff have already begun preparing and develop programs for Strength and Conditioning and Player Development. Coach Reiss and the University of Rhode Island have set goals that they hope to reach, “Our goals for next season are to win the A-10 Regular Season, Win the A-10 Tourney and participate in the NCAA Tournament.” The Rams are preparing for another successful season under Coach Reiss.