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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

Friday, February 5, 2010

Friday pickoff

With February here, I figured it was time to add another wrinkle to the blog's playbook and post my picks each day. To make things more interesting, I'll pick them against the spread and see how I do for the month.

The first installment:

RIDER (minus 4) over Loyola:

Just because Rider played a hell of a game last weekend at Fairfield doesn't mean the Broncs are going to start steamrolling people. And that home-court advantage has produced two double-digit losses and two wins by a total of seven points. But the Hounds are in a tailspin, I'm expecting the Broncs to keep scoring points and win a game that won't come down to the final possession.

Prediction: Rider 78, Loyola 72

NIAGARA (minus 8) over Canisius:

This is a tough one, because the Golden Griffs beat their crosstown rivals when they met last Friday and are, for the most part, having a better year. But if you give me a healthy Tyrone Lewis, a rockin' crowd in Lewiston and a Purple Eagles team that still hasnt' lost confidence, I'll give the eight points and go with the home team.

Prediction: Niagara 76, Canisius 66

Iona (plus 8) over SIENA

I'd be shocked if the Gaels won, but they're playing too well not to like them with this big a number. The Saints are still banged up, they haven't really drilled anyone in a while, and I think this one will be close until the final minutes, with the Saints hitting enough clutch shots down the stretch to pull away.

Prediction: Siena 82, Iona 75

Saint Peter's (plus 5 1/2) over FAIRFIELD

With these two teams have played over the past couple of weeks, this is a virtual coin-flip game. Gun to my head, I'll take the Stags in a nail-biter, winning by two or three points the way they usually seem to win these type of games at home. But I can't see the Stags winning with any sort of comfort.

Prediction: Fairfield 68, Saint Peter's 67

MANHATTAN (minus 15) over Marist

As hard as it is to give 15 for a 2-10 team, the combination of Marist's complete ineptitude and the fact that the Jaspers will do anything to avoid losing to the Foxes twice means this one will get out of hand.

Prediction: Manhattan 82, Marist 60


Anonymous tmd39 said...

Look out Ben, you have disrespected the Siena-nation by daring to say they will not cover the spread. Get ready for the hate mail.

February 5, 2010 at 11:05 AM 
Blogger Ben said...


So far, no hate mail. I think folks understand that a seven-point win over a team that's won eight straight and 13 out of 15 would be pretty nice.

Plus, I established my Siena bona fides when I put four Saints on my first half first-team all-MAAC squad -- a move that, while logical, enraged some Siena haters.

When all is said and done, I think Iona WILL cover and Siena WILL get four first-teamers.

February 5, 2010 at 2:28 PM 
Anonymous xyz said...

Based on the results of your picks is the last time we see this feature?

February 5, 2010 at 11:30 PM 
Blogger Ben Doody said...

Great question, xyz.

Indeed, a rough night. Fortunately for me, I don't actually bet on any of these games, or any others.

There's an old guy who calls me in the office once in a while, though, and asks for my opinion on these games.

I'm pretty sure he lost about $50,000 tonight, but hey, I'm not telling anyone to place bets -- I'm just making predictions that turned out to be way off in a couple cases tonight.

But to answer your question, no, I'm not going to throw in the towel after one one week. And look on the bright side, it's not like I went 0-5. At 2-3, a good day next time around cuz easily put me above .500.

February 6, 2010 at 3:15 AM 
Anonymous xyz said...

What was the most surprising result to you of the night? I think the Siena routing of Iona was ore surprising than what happened at AG last night.

February 6, 2010 at 11:56 AM 
Blogger Ben said...


Believe it or not, I think the Fairfield-SPC result was the most surprising.

Saint Peter's had been playing better than Fairfield over the past two weeks, AND Fairfield was playing without Yorel Hawkins for the first time.

Couple that with the fact that Fairfield almost never blows anyone out, and I thought a double-digit Fairfield win was highly, highly unlikely.

It's a credit to Ed Cooley and Fairfield's players that they stepped up like that.

February 7, 2010 at 12:21 PM 

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