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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 (https://twitter.com/kj_franko) or email kfranko@trentonian.com.

Friday, April 16, 2010

More on Rider's roster

A few thoughts on the 2010-11 Rider roster, which was finalized today with a verbal commitment from shooting guard Tommy Pereira:

* Three starting spots -- those held by Justin Robinson, Novar Gadson and Mike Ringgold -- are virtually set in stone. The other two are up for grabs, but if I had to place a bet right now, my money would be on Anthony Myles and Danny Stewart filling the other two spots. It's also possible that Brandon Penn (or maybe Dera Nd-Ezuma if he shows more improvement over the summer than is anticipated) could land in the starting frontcourt, and/or that Jhamar Youngblood could start alongside Robinson in the backcourt.

* Robinson will start at the point and play a whole lot of minutes. He's too important to this team for that not to be the case. But Tommy Dempsey isn't sure who will spell him for the 5-10 minutes per game that the ball isn't in his hands. Look for either Myles, Pereira or Youngblood to run the point when Robinson is either on the bench or playing off the ball.

* For the first time since I started covering Rider in 2007-08, I like the Broncs' bench, which is likely to include Youngblood, Penn, Pereira, an improved Nd-Ezuma, and Pat Mansell, who when on can be an effective zone-buster.

* As I've written a few times this month, if I had to fill out a ballot right now, I'd pick Rider fifth in the MAAC, behind Fairfield, Siena, Iona and Saint Peter's. But despite Ryan Thompson's absence, this is a pretty talented team for one that will be picked middle of the pack. Rider's disappointing 2009-10 season aside, plenty of mid-major coaches would love to have a core of Robinson, Gadson and Ringgold and recruits as highly regarded as Myles and Stewart.

23 Comments:

Anonymous Marko said...

Ben,

Where do you see DeShawn Mitchell fitting in.

April 16, 2010 at 8:59 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Huge hole at point guard - Robinson proved he can't play the point.

April 16, 2010 at 9:16 PM 
Blogger Ben said...

Marko,

That remains to be seen. He's talented, but from what I've heard, Rider's coaches are higher on Anthony Myles than on Mitchell. And I think although Jhamar Youngblood didn't have a good year last year they'd like to find a role for him -- perhaps as the backup point guard or as a guy who plays 15-20 minutes and splits them between the 1 and the 2.


Anon,

I disagree that Robinson can't play the point. He played it well in 2007-08, especially considering he was a freshman. And Rider was a better offensive team last year in the second half of the season, when he had the bulk of the ball-handling responsibilities.

April 16, 2010 at 9:34 PM 
Blogger Bryan Y. said...

With all this talent I demand at least 26 wins an a runaway MAAC title

April 17, 2010 at 5:29 PM 
Blogger Ben Doody said...

Bryan,

I admire the optimism, but if this team wins 26 games, it will be the most surprising win total in MAAC history.

April 18, 2010 at 5:06 PM 
Blogger Bryan Y. said...

Ben,
I don't think it's that optimistic, the MAAC is a solid mid-major conference, but it's not the Big East or anything. We have a guy (Mitchell) coming in who is talented enough to originally be recruited by a top 40-type program, another recruit (Myles) who is talented enough to be recruited by Temple and Big East program South Florida. Throw in Stewart, another highly touted recruit that Scouts inc. called "a steal" for Rider, and solid returning players like Gadson and Ringold and it's not a stretch to say this is the most talented team in the MAAC. Even though he can't coach, the one thing tommy boy can do well is recruit talented players. I demand 26 wins and won't back down from that.

April 18, 2010 at 5:47 PM 
Anonymous Beagle said...

Jon Thompson will help off the Bench too

April 18, 2010 at 8:22 PM 
Anonymous MaacFan said...

26 wins?! Clearly this has to be a joke. Rider had only 17 wins with a player who was on the 1st team all MAAC this season and who some still think may get drafted this year in the NBA. Anyone else on Rider make an all Tournament team this past season? Rider loses the type of player like Ryan and you think 26 wins and a runaway in the league? Let's wake up. Rider will be a middle of the pack team this season. .500 or a little better.

April 18, 2010 at 9:55 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Agree with Ben and Bryan, 26 wins is not a realistic goal but 18-20 wins should be with a very talented roster, albeit a pretty young one next season. Disagree with Ben on 5th place finish, that should be a worst case scenario for Rider next admittedly the young guys are going to have to play effectively with some production from the Myles and Steward - if they both make immediate impact Rider could challenge for a title. I think Gadson could have a shot at POY next season.

April 19, 2010 at 11:29 AM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ben, I can't say it enough. You are the man. Nice job with the quick updates. As for next season, I'm excited but not holding my breath. It's really difficult to predict high school players performace. Take a look at Jermaine. Incredible talent, but it did not translate over to the Rider system.

April 19, 2010 at 11:52 AM 
Blogger Bryan Y. said...

Doods, when Rider wins their 26th game next season, I humbly ask you to link back to this blog post, as I will be proven correct. I officially guarantee(tm)at least 26 wins next season.

April 19, 2010 at 3:38 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i actually agree with bryan y. 26 wins in a realistic possibility next year

April 19, 2010 at 6:49 PM 
Anonymous MaacFan said...

I can't seem to figure out if Bryan Y and Anon are both serious about Rider winning 26 games next season or if they are both Rider haters just trying to get comments out of other Rider fans. Seriously, 26 wins? That's NCAA tourney material. Does anyone else believe that Rider is an NCAA team? What about Iona, Siena, and Fairfield? They will all have good players coming back and I believe they all had better records then Rider last season. Rider will be young next season and they lost one of greatest players ever to play at the school. Gadson player of the year? Let's hope he plays better this coming season and gets on an all MAAC team first, then we can focus on POY honors. I think an 18-20 win season would be great, but that may be pushing it. Also, if Rider plays 2-3 Top 25-50 teams again this season, then that may hurt their win total. I do like the idea of playing the tough schedule instead of "padding" the schedule with "softer" teams, but that's for another topic.

April 19, 2010 at 9:50 PM 
Anonymous Marko said...

Ben,

How would you rank Rider recruiting class to past years. In addition, how does it rank compared to the rest of the conference. I know Iona and Siena lost their top recruits due to coaching changes.

April 20, 2010 at 7:27 AM 
Blogger Ben said...

Marko,

At the risk of bringing on more talk of a 26-win season, I think this could be the best recruiting class Tommy Dempsey has had. If these kids pan out the way Dempsey hopes they will -- and with recruits you never know for sure until you see it -- it could be the best by far.

Anthony Myles is the highest rated player in school history, and I think he and Trenity Burdine will be the two best incoming freshmen in the league.

Rider's coaches also genuinely believe if Danny Stewart has waiting until the spring signing period to commit, they wouldn't have had a chance to land him.

Is it the best in the MAAC? That remains to be seen. But Rider fans have reason to be excited about it.

April 20, 2010 at 5:03 PM 
Blogger Bryan Y. said...

Ben's response has confirmed my prediction. This is a fantastic recruiting class and I guarantee 26 wins. Around late Feb. of next year I will be proven correct

April 20, 2010 at 6:07 PM 
Anonymous Marko said...

Bryan, I agree with you they can win 26 games next year, if 20 of their games are against Marist, NJIT and Trenton State. I think the MAAC will be weaker as a whole, but 26 games is pushing it.

April 20, 2010 at 7:59 PM 
Blogger Bryan Y. said...

Regardless of whether it's probable or not, I am predicting 26 wins. I am sick and tried of this finishing 17-15 for seemingly 10 years straight. So I am dreaming big. 26 wins must happen

April 21, 2010 at 11:17 AM 
Anonymous Marko said...

Ben, I just saw you post on Mitchell. I guess you knew something earlier in the week.

April 21, 2010 at 8:06 PM 
Blogger Ben Doody said...

Marko,

I knew they were having problems with him but didn't know for sure this is how it would end.

Wouldn't have been fair for me to speculate on his status, since at the time I thought he might return.

But as you can see, this gives you a definite answer as to what his role will -- or as it turns out won't -- be.

April 21, 2010 at 8:58 PM 
Anonymous MaacFan said...

Wow, 3 players transfering in one season? Looks like Rider is starting fresh and getting rid of the problem players or trying to force them out. If you don't like what the coaches have to say, then leave the team and it looks like that's what happened. Hopefully this is it for Rider and they can get some players in their who want to play as a team and win.

April 21, 2010 at 10:37 PM 
Anonymous marko said...

Any updates on who Rider is pursuing with the last scholorship? Also did Myles and Pierra sign yet?

April 27, 2010 at 1:09 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am a Rider student who goes to every game and loves basketball. But these are some of the things I feel. For whoever asked about DeShawn, he got kicked off for failing a drug test. Also I am happy about the Carl transferring because all he ever did was complain. Jermaine never fit in well in the offense. John Thompson I think is going to open a lot of eyes this year, He is a terrific defender. We have a transfer from Virgina coming in (has to red shirt) his name is Jeff Jones and from what I hear he is going to be a good player at Rider even though he can only play one year. I also feel that Novar thinks too much about himself and they may hurt him, hopefully not though. My sleeper this year is Brandon Penn. His shot improved remarkably over last summer. I can see him as the starting SG or SF if Novar starts at the 4. What is some other peoples thoughts?

May 16, 2010 at 10:47 PM 

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