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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.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Rider's roster set

With the end of the spring signing period a day away, Rider finalized its 2009-10 roster today by adding 6-4 guard Jonathan Thompson. The Broncs' other scholarship will go to UNLV transfer DeShawn Mitchell, who faxed his letter of intent to Rider today.

The school will likely formally announce the signings tomorrow.

Tommy Dempsey told me the Broncs are happy to have a Thompson and a Johnson in this recruiting class, the Johnson being point guard Carl Johnson, who committed earlier this month after Matt Griffin decided to transfer.

Center Dara Nd-Ezuma -- a project from Nigeria via Life Center Academy in Burlington Twp. -- and shooting guard Jhamar Youngblood -- a transfer from Monmouth who sat out last year in accordance with NCAA rules -- fill out the Broncs' roster.

Mitchell, who the Broncs initially recruited out of Monmouth Academy, will sit out next year and be eligible in 2010-11.

Back at it ... News from the spring signing period

Greetings from my apartment, where after a two-month recess, I bring you this long-delayed post.

The Blog, I’m happy to say, enjoyed what I thought was its best two-week stretch of its existence before and during (but especially during) the MAAC tournament. Then, however, came way too much down time, but I’ve got a few Rider tidbits to pass along, good wireless connection and an unexpected post-work surge of energy, so now is as good a time as any to get back into this.

While The Blog was on vacation, Siena gave Louisville a scare but was eliminated in the second round, North Carolina, Penn State, Oregon State and Old Dominion won tournament championships, Jim Calhoun got into all sorts of hot water at UConn but announced he’d return next year anyway, Ed Cooley got free air time on FOX at a Red Sox-Yankees game, and some French guys came up with this video.

Now that we’re caught up on all that …

The spring signing period ends tomorrow, May 20, and Rider enters the day, officially, with THREE scholarships to give.

How?

As was reported earlier this month in The Trentonian, Matt Griffin has decided to transfer. Griffin, a sophomore point guard, told Tommy Dempsey he was concerned about his prospects for playing time moving forward. There’s no word yet on where Griffin will end up. … Dempsey quickly filled the vacated scholarship with Carl Johnson, a Philly product by way of St. Thomas More Prep in Connecticut.

Center Dara Nd-Ezuma is on board for next year, as is Jhamaar Youngblood, who’s eligible after sitting out last year as a transfer from Monmouth.

But the Broncs have released point guard SirChristian Williams from his letter of intent, opening up another scholarship.

According to a source close to the program, Williams wanted to go to a school where he could get significant playing time as a freshman. Since Rider has four returning starters and Youngblood waiting in the wings to fill Harris Mansell’s spot, that kind of playing time wasn’t available in Lawrenceville.

So Williams re-opened his recruitment, Rider reopened its recruiting, and the Broncs have until the end of the day tomorrow to wrap up their 2009-10 roster.