Lindsey says no hard feelings toward St. John's, wishes Lavin well
|Nurideen Lindsey splits a pair of Stony Brook defenders/Photo by JOHN BLAINE|
LAWRENCEVILLE — Nurideen Lindsey said he has no ill will toward St. John’s and wished coach Steve Lavin well as the Red Storm boss makes his return to the sideline after missing most of last season while being treated for prostate cancer.
“There was no bad blood at St. John’s,” said Lindsey, who transferred to Rider in time for the spring semester last year and was granted a hardship waiver to play immediately this season.
“Me and coach Lavin, we still talk to this day,” Lindsey continued. “I check on coach Lav and his health because that was one of my biggest concerns. He cared about me just as coach (Kevin) Baggett has done here and made me feel comfortable. Coach Lav did the same for me at St. John’s.
“It’s more than just me transferring and leaving St. John’s. The love is still there and I talk to guys on the team and those guys are still like my brothers when I was there.”
Lindsey’s mother in Philadelphia has had health problems and he’s lost two brothers to gang violence.
He said Baggett has allowed him to be flexible, going home to help his mother when needed.
“I’m trying to focus on being here and everything I have to take care of at Rider,” said Lindsey, who scored 17 points in the Broncs’ 54-46 loss to Stony Brook Tuesday morning.
He’s also happy to be on the court.
“I think Rider is a good program,” Lindsey said. “I give Rider a lot more credit than other people do, but like I said, I’m here and they’re not. I see how hard these guys work and how hard our coaches work to prepare us. From a talent level, I don’t feel like I’m too good for any level. At any level I go to, I have to work. I’ve been working hard here.”
Baggett said he wouldn’t hesitate to play at 6 a.m. again despite the Broncs being 0-2 in games that tip at that time.
“It was just not our day,” Baggett said. “Whether it was ESPN or whoever, we didn’t need a camera out there to tell us it wasn’t our day.”
Stony Brook is 2-0 in games played at this early hour. Coach Steve Pikiell even joked that next time they would ask Michigan State and Kansas if they wanted to switch times.
“It’s a great game for us” Pikiell said. “We’re happy to be on ESPN. It’s a great environment and great for our program. We’re excited to come out of here with a win.”
Baggett was not happy with the play of his forwards.
Danny Stewart, Junior Fortunat and Dera Nd-Ezuma combined for seven points.
“You’re not going to win many games if you can’t score inside,” the coach said. "I thought we should have been a little more balanced. I thought we didn’t move the ball well enough in that second half.”
Baggett also rued his team’s free throw shooting. The Broncs went 8 of 14 while the Seawolves connected on 19 of 24, including 7 of 8 in the final 1:33.
“Free throws cost us at the end,” Baggett said. “They made theirs, we didn’t.”