Rider at Saint Joe's
WHEN: Friday, 7 p.m.
WHERE: Wachovia CenterON THE AIR: 107.7 FM (Daryl Fein and Steve Rudenstein); 990 (Tom McCarthy, Joe Lunardi) SERIES: Saint Joe’s leads 16-2
LAST MEETING: Saint Joe’s won 76-53 in 1981.
SCOUTING RIDER: The Broncs begin the post-Jason Thompson era with high expectations, having been picked third in the preseason MAAC coaches’ poll. They will, though, be shorthanded at least for the rest of November, with point guard Justin Robinson and power forward Jermaine Jackson both sidelined with knee injuries. Matt Griffin will start at point guard, with Harris Mansell and Ryan Thompson at the other guard spots and Novar Gadson and Mike Ringgold at forward. The Broncs have high hopes for Gadson, a 6-7 freshman from Philadelphia, in spite of a shaky exhibition game last Saturday in which he scored two points on 1-of-11 shooting. They’ll rely heavily on Thompson, a pre-season first-team all-MAAC selection who averaged 15 points per game last season.
SCOUTING SAINT JOE’S: The Hawks return three starters from a team that went 21-13 and earned an at-large bid to the NCAA tournament. Six-nine center Ahmad Nivins, a preseason all-Atlantic 10 selection, averaged 14.4 points last year and has led the A-10 in field goal percentage in each of the past two years. Six-five foward Garrett Williamson, a likely candidate to guard Thompson, is on the preseason A-10 all-defensive team. Six-four point guard Tasheed Carr averaged 10.8 points last year and ranked second in the A-10 with 5.6 assists per game. ... Six-one guard Darrin Govens averaged 9.8 points last year and is the Hawks’ leading returning 3-point shooter at 38 percent. Six-seven sophomore Idris Hilliard, who averaged 1.2 points in 5.7 minutes last year, will start at power forward.
SIDELINES: Griffin played at Saint Joseph’s Prep and is the son of former Saint Joe’s coach John Griffin. ... Nivins could become the first player since George Washington’s Alexander Koul in 1995-98 to lead the A-10 in field goal percentage for three consecutive seasons. ... Rider has three players from Philadelphia: Ringgold (Roman Catholic High School), Gadson (John Bartram) and Penn (Paul Robeson). ... The game was initially scheduled for the Palestra, but had to be moved to accommodate the Penn-Yale women’s volleyball game. Saint Joe’s’ field house is under renovation and will re-open next year. Neither team has ever played at the Wachovia Center. ... The schools were Middle Atlantic Conference rivals in the early 1970s and East Coast Conference rivals from 1974-82.