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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.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Rutgers 68, Fairfield 53

PISCATAWAY -- Judging by the staggering number of empty seats at Monday's Rutgers-Fairfield game, you wouldn't know that Mike Rice was beginning to infuse life into a dormant program.

Rice, having just signed a top-10 recruiting class and coaching his first game at the RAC, has created a buzz that has affected recruits but not yet potential ticket-holders.

Yet despite the rag-tag roster that Rice inherited from Fred Hill, the product on the court may be worthy of increased support.

In a 68-53 win over the Stags, the Knights surged ahead by clamping down on defense late in the first half, then maintained that energy down the stretch to pull away from the MAAC favorites.

"I thought against Princeton our energy was good but when we went back and watched film, the details were brutal," Rice said, referencing Rutgers' season-opening overtime loss last Friday. "We had two days of great practice defensively and we shored up some of the mistakes in our defense. When you put that intensity with a purpose, it's a pretty good effort."

Read the full story here.

7 Comments:

Anonymous shooter said...

in addition to previous comments made....you can't take away 2 proven players (including a 1st team all-maac) and replace them with question marks then make the statement that the team is better this year. it's ridiculous. I think that they're good this year, but not better than last year. they were chosen first preseason by default

November 15, 2010 at 9:52 PM 
Anonymous KC said...

Shooter: A bit early to make any kind of definitive judgments, no? Fairfield, a year ago at this time, was barely considered among the MAAC's elite because of a rookie point guard and a laundry lists of injury-prone players, and look at how that turned out (apparently, half true). And as clutch as Evanovich was a year ago, its revisionist history to claim that he was a "proven player" aside from his senior year surge (something Cooley has gottten every year behind the bench - Van Schaick and Mamadou, anyone?).

Logic dictates Ben is completely right. I'd even go as far as to call them the Miami Heat of the MAAC. Hands down the most talented, athletic team on paper and a team that should - in theory - contend for a title with relative ease. Just give it time to "gel".

November 16, 2010 at 4:26 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great job by Shooter. Love that guy.

How is Fairfield better? NO WAY!! Needham lived a charmed life last year as a Freshman. Everyone spent the last 8 months breaking down tape and his weaknesses. He will take a step back. My grandfather has a better chance of playing 35 games this year than Nero. No way to even approach the lost of their big guy.

Sure they are the best team in the MAAC or should I say most proven. But that may a little like putting lipstick on a pig. Not exactly a lot coming back. I think you can argue this is the worst the MAAC has been in ten years.

November 16, 2010 at 7:04 PM 
Anonymous Utah Flash Fan said...

Shooter,

Have you given any thought to starting your own blog?

November 16, 2010 at 8:09 PM 
Anonymous #1 Rider Fan said...

Greetings Men:

Back for another season. Another year, another underperforming Thompson.

Doody, give me some feedback on this Jonathon Thompson. Two games 42 minutes 1-4 from the field, 4 Rebounds and 2 Assists? Not exactly filling up the box score. Is this kid going to get 20 minutes a game?

November 16, 2010 at 8:34 PM 
Blogger Ben Doody said...

#1 Rider fan,

Good question about Thompson. Even when he's performing well, I wouldn't expect him to put up any eye-opening numbers.

His biggest impact will come if he's able to shut down the other team's top perimeter players -- something that cleary hasn't happened in the first two games.

My guess is that a clear peckig order will eventually emerge between Myles, Thompson, Pereira and Youngblood.

I don't think any of those guys will be relegated to mop-up duty, but I think we'll see one emerge as a starter who plays 25 to 30 minutes per game, two who play significant minutes off the bench and one who falls further back in the pack. It looks like Pat Mansell is already back in the pack and, barring an injury or some other major shakeup, that's where he'll remain.

Of that group, Myles is the most talented. He and Pereira, as freshmen, probably have more room to grow than anyone else, so I'd bet on them eventually taking away more of Thompson's minutes if Thompson struggles.

November 17, 2010 at 2:22 AM 
Anonymous shooter said...

did someone really compare FF to the heat? it must be doody posting under an alias. there are many differences with that, the most significant being that cooley can actually coach unlike the guy that will be replaced by Pat Riley by Xmas. the other is the FF has one proven player compared to 3. but i guess nero is kind of like mike miller since neither of them can stay on th court.

November 17, 2010 at 10:46 AM 

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