Game 6: Rider (2-3) vs. Jacksonville (2-3)
When: 3:30 p.m., Friday, Puerto Vallarta Convention Center, 107.7 FM The Bronc
Last time out: Rider lost to SMU, 83-70; Jacksonville lost Arkansas Little-Rock, 72-56
Background: The Broncs try to snap a two-game skid as they face the Dolphins in Mexico for the Hoops for Hope Classic.
This is the third of a four-game road trip.
Rider is coming off a pair of losses in which it was burned by the opponent's 3-point shooting. South Carolina, despite shooting just 22 percent form beyond the arc, made 13 against and SMU connected on eight (half of its season total entering the game).
Kevin Baggett wants to keep the game in the 60s and to do so the perimeter defense has to improve.
The good news is Rider hasn't struggled to score on this road trip, averaging 73 points per game.
The appropriately named Dolphins — at least for a trip to a coastal Mexican resort — don't have a player averaging in double figures. Freshman guard Jarvis Haywood (9.8 ppg) is the leading scorer.
Jacksonville, out of the Atlantic Sun Conference, has alternated win/loss in its first five games. It has also faced SEC opposition, falling to Georgia by six.
Projected starting lineups: Rider: G-Jon Thompson (Sr. 10.4 ppg), G-Nurideen Lindsey (Jr. 18 ppg), G-Anthony Myles (Jr. 12.6 ppg), F-Danny Stewart (Jr. 9.8 ppg), F-Junior Fortunat (So. 2.2 ppg).
Jacksonville: G-Russell Powell (Sr. 5 ppg), G-Jarvis Haywood (Fr. 9.8 ppg), G-Keith McDonal (Jr. 9.2 ppg), F-Javon Dawson (Jr. 7.8 ppg), F-Glenn Powell (Sr. 6.8 ppg).
Rider player to watch: Myles had 19 points in the loss to SMU and he's benefiting from having Lindsey and Thompson take away some of the attention. He's a streaky 3-point shooter, but if he gets hot, he can carry the Broncs. This is the most winnable game on the trip and Rider won't want to come back winless. Expect to see the Broncs get after the Dolphins with their full-court pressure.
Jacksonville player to watch: Haywood is the leading scorer so go with him. He had 14 in the loss to UALR. Keep an eye on his 3-point percentage. Although it's early in the season, he's shooting 28.6 percent. That's not good, but if the previous two contests are an indicator, he might break out against Rider.