NCAA Basketball: 10 Best Players From Rhode Island of Last Decade

If you’re looking for an athlete from Rhode Island that played in the NCAA basketball tournament, you’ve come to the right place. We’ve compiled a list of the top players from Ocean State. This list includes names like Jimmer Fredette, Buddy Hield, Kevin VanVleet, and Russ Smith. All of these players have made an impact on the game.


Jimmer Fredette

Jimmer Fredette was one of the top high school basketball players in the country. He went on to play college basketball at Brigham Young University, where he led the country in scoring as a senior. His stellar play earned him the John R. Wooden Award, which is given to the nation’s best player. While in college, Fredette averaged 16.2 points per game. He also led BYU to its first Sweet 16 appearance in 30 years.

NCAA Basketball: 10 Best Players From Rhode Island of Last Decade

Buddy Hield

In a state where the NBA isn’t known for producing basketball players, Buddy Hield is one of the most exciting players to come out of the state in a decade. His outgoing personality is a result of the culture he was raised in. He came from a neighborhood of 400 people with no NBA pedigree. As a result, many people in his hometown rolled their eyes at the prospect of one day playing in the NBA.

Russ Smith

Russ Smith, a 6-foot guard from South Kent, is among the top prospects in the NBA Draft. He has the athleticism and scoring ability to succeed in the NBA. Smith also has great vision, which allows him to get open for his teammates. He is a product of the NBA Development League, which is designed to help young players break into the NBA.

Kevin VanVleet

A recent FiveThirtyEight poll has URI as one of the top mid-majors. Only Gonzaga, SMU, and Cincy are ranked above URI. Some analysts have URI as one of the top 11 seeds in the country, so there’s a good chance that they’ll make the Sweet 16 this season. The team also ranks highly in Kenpom.

Jordan Clarke

Jordan Clarke is a versatile and talented basketball player. Born in Vancouver, Canada, he played high school basketball in Arizona and attended San Jose State. His junior and senior seasons at San Jose State were marked by a number of achievements, including being named Sixth Man of the Conference (MWC) and leading the conference in field goal percentage. He then went on to play college basketball at Gonzaga, where he was drafted in the first round. After a successful college career, Clarke signed with the Grizzlies and has played three seasons for the team.

Markelle Fultz

After being drafted first overall in the NBA Draft, Markelle Fultz is putting in work in the gym, working out twice a day. He has a key to the gym at his high school, DeMatha Catholic High, and has worked out as late as 3 a.m. before a game. Fultz, a quiet six-foot-four-inch guard, is working on his shooting.

Jared Walker

During the past decade, Jared Walker has become one of the best players to come out of the state. He was drafted No. 1 overall by the Los Angeles Dodgers in 2014. He has started all but one game and has an impressive career. He has averaged over 20 points per game. In the most recent season, he scored 41 points in a win over Creighton. His defense has also helped him limit opponents to under-average scoring. Jared Walker was able to contribute to his team’s comeback win over the Red Raiders by shooting 50.0 percent of his shots from long range and making a lot of free throws. He hit a dagger triple against Butler on Senior Day and has continued to produce.

Nate Walker

Despite his lackluster NHL career, the former Hershey Bears star was called up by the Capitals for the 2017-18 season. He played in seven games for the Capitals before being waived. The Washington Capitals had no waiver-exempt players at that time, so they had to clear Walker’s name before reassigning him. Instead, the Oilers claimed him before the 24-hour claim period ended. As a result, Walker played for a lower-tier team this season.

Marquese Chriss

Marquese Chriss is one of the best players in the NBA’s rookie class. He has a high ceiling and a great basketball body, but he needs to improve his jump-shot consistency and cut down on his fouls. As a freshman, Chriss averaged 4.1 fouls per game, which is a concern, but he’s still a terrific prospect.


Rhode Island basketball coach Bob Hurley wants to replicate his team’s ability to peak in March. Last season, the Rams upset Creighton, a No. 11 seed, and trailed the Ducks in the second round. Ultimately, Oregon beat URI in the Final Four. Jared Terrell and E.C. Matthews are the star players in the Rams’ backcourt. They were recruited to play in Rhode Island by NBA player David Stern and chose the university over a power five school.

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