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The Trentonian's Full-Court Press blog is back and improved. We'll keep you updated on everything you need to know about Rider and Princeton hoops as well as the college basketball landscape.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Manhattan at NJIT

Here's the first of two previews of today's games. We'll also take a look at the Fairfield-Memphis matchup. Apologies for not posting one for Saint Peter's-Lehigh or Canisius-Akron. When I was getting all this together yesterday, game notes were nowhere to be found on the Peacocks' or Griffins' web sites.

WHEN: Today, 2 p.m.

WHERE: Fleisher Center

ON THE AIR: www.gojaspers.com (Ed Cohen, Brian Mahoney)

SERIES: Tied 1-1

LAST MEETING: Manhattan won 70-28 last year.

SCOUTING NJIT: A loss for the Highlanders, losers of 33 straight and owners of an 0-29 record last year, would tie Sacramento State’s NCAA record for consecutive losses. The record was set from Dec. 22 1997 to Jan. 27 1999. NJIT hasn’t won since February of 2007 and likely won’t win today, meaning more infamy for the Newark school, which is in its third year of Division I basketball but hasn’t yet found a conference. Jim Engles, a former Columbia assistant, took over last March for Jim Casciano, who stepped down at the end of the season. (Former Fairfield coach Tim O’Toole was also a candidate for the job). What’s more, the Highlanders lost their leading scorer from a year ago, 6-8 power forward Nesho Milosevic, leaving 6-9 center Dan Stonkus, who averaged 4.3 points per game last season, as their best returning player.

SCOUTING MANHATTAN: The Jaspers, led by 6-2 junior guard Antoine Pearson, return four starters and 88 percent of their scoring from a year ago, when they finished seventh in the MAAC in Barry Rohrssen’s second year. Six-six forward Devon Austin (11.6 points last year) and 6-3 point guard Chris Smith (9.9) give Manhattan two more reliable scorers, while 6-6 sophomore Andrew Gabriel and 6-8 senior Herve Banogle fill out the starting five.

FAST FACTS: NJIT upset the Jaspers 56-55 in 2006. … Manhattan is 1-1 in openers under Barry Rohrssen. … Twelve Manhattan players started at least one game last year and eight started at least 10.

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