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Welcome back to the Trentonian's Full-Court Press blog. Yes, we're still alive, and with the 2015-16 season rapidly approaching, it's time to fire up the old blog for another season. Check back here throughout the year for updates on all things Rider and Princeton, including coverage of both the MAAC and Ivy League. Feel free to drop me a line on twitter @kj_franko ( or email

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

A long train ride, and Week 5 of the Press MAAC Index

A few things to mention before we get to the PMI:

I’m in New York, blogging from the impromptu desk I set up at the kitchen counter in my girlfriend’s apartment. Normally, I drive here, and it takes about an hour and a half.

But last night, since I didn’t have to be anywhere today and since parking in the city is a major pain, I decided to take the train. I’d go easy on the environment and leave my car at home, my thinking went.

Little did I know what would transpire on my train ride.

When my train got to Linden station – a little more than half way to the City -- the conductor announced that there was a police investigation ahead of us concerning a “trespasser.”

It turns out, “trespasser” is conductor lingo for someone who walked, ran or fell on to the tracks, and in this case, the “tresspasser” was hit by a train ahead of us and killed.

No word yet on what exactly happened, other than a New Jersey Transit spokesman announcing the victim was an adult.

On a less gloomy note, the good thing about being in New York train stations (I finally got to Penn Station five hours after I left Hamilton) if you’re a New Englander is you can get your hands on a Boston Globe. I read it primarily for the sports, so I enjoyed today’s coverage of Jim Rice’s election to the Hall of Fame when I took the subway to Grand Central station to pick one up today. (Don’t worry. I’m only a little crazy. It’s only two stops on the subway, so it was a short expedition)

Yesterday, though, I read this story about a guy in Maine with an interesting idea on how to revive his business during tough economic times.

With that, here’s the Index for Week 5.

1. Siena (12-5, 6-0, 35)
Saints are off to best conference start in nine years. After Niagara’s blowout loss, it couldn’t be more clear who’s the top dog.

2. Niagara (13-4, 4-1, 82)
Loss at Marist hurts, but with Siena looming ahead on schedule, a loss at home to Iona or Rider would hurt more. Still, though, overall resume is impressive, and everyone’s allowed a dud once in a while.

3. Rider (9-6, 4-1, 165)
Win over Iona wasn’t pretty, but league record – same as it was after five games last year – is. Four-game road trip to Buffalo, Fairfield (not Bridgeport) and Jersey City is up next.

4. Manhattan (9-7, 3-3, 182)
Took care of business against Marist, then almost knocked off Siena for the second straight year. Schedule ahead is favorable, with four of next five at home. Can they go 4-1 in that stretch?

5. Fairfield (11-6, 4-2, 89)
League record is incredibly deceiving, and down-to-the-wire game against dreadful Canisius is not a good sign. This time, they can’t wait ’til February to turn it on.

6. Marist (7-11, 3-3, 197)
Upstart Red Foxes are 3-0 in league home games with a rout of Niagara, and Ryan Schneider (16.3 points, 8.8 boards per game) is at least a second-team all-MAAC performer.

7. Iona (7-10, 2-4, 202)
Good news: Scott Machado – probably the MAAC rookie of the year if the vote were today -- keeps getting better. Bad news: there just aren’t enough parts right now to be a top-half-of-the-league team.

8. Loyola (5-12, 1-5, 192)
Loss to Saint Peter’s really stings, and whatever hopes Hounds may have had of being in the title race are long gone. But they’re still dangerous for a bottom-tier team.

9. St. Peters (5-11, 2-4, 306)
Hey, things could be worse. Win over Loyola was nice, but there aren’t many easy ones left on the schedule.

10. Canisius (5-11, 0-6, 222)
Win over Fairfield would have been a major boost. They’ve got Rider and Iona at home before a brutal four-game road trip.


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