Team preview: Rhode Island

Blue Ribbon Illustrated previews the 2003-04 college basketball season, exclusively on Insider.

Updated: November 6, 2003, 12:32 PM ET
Editor's Note: Insider has teamed with Blue Ribbon College Basketball Yearbook, long known as the Bible of college basketball, to provide a comprehensive look at all 327 Division I teams.

The biggest win of Rhode Island's 2003-04 season occurred nearly a half a year before this season even started. The victory happened last April when master rebuilder Jim Baron said "thanks, but no thanks" to Virginia Tech's job offer and elected to stay in Kingston, R.I instead.

A five-year contract extension made staying in the Ocean State easier for Baron, who did the Atlantic 10's best coaching job last season. Baron's fine work didn't go unnoticed as he was voted the 2003 Atlantic 10 Coach of the Year over three coaches who got their teams into the NCAA Tournament in St. Joseph's Phil Martelli, Dayton's Oliver Purnell and Xavier's Thad Matta.