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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

Monday, December 10, 2012

Morning Run — Game 11: Fairfield 65, Rider 52

Quick reaction: Well, if you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything at all. The Broncs turned it over 30 times, scored 19 points in the second half and lost. During Fairfield's 16-1 run to open the final 20 minutes, Rider went 0 of 6 from the field and had five turnovers. It only got up 18 second-half shots — making six. The Stags had 27 points off turnovers.
Stud of the game: There's not much to choose from. Fairfield turned it over 23 times itself — 17 in the first half — and really should have won by more than 13 with the way Rider played.

Maurice Barrow, a player who was on the league's all-rookie team two seasons ago, scored 13 points and grabbed 10 rebounds.

Barrow came off the bench Sunday and gave coach Sydney Johnson a nice lift.

Dud of the game: No one person is getting singled out for this performance. This was a collective team failure.

Nine of the 11 Rider players that got into the game had a turnover. Many of the giveaways were self-inflicted. Taking an eye off the pass, driving into three people with no outlet or a simple post entry.

"We just found a way to make every turnover possible," said coach Kevin Baggett.

Turnovers are contagious, and Rider, which averaged over 16 per game coming into Sunday's contest, found that out the hard way.

"I guess," said senior guard Jon Thompson when asked if there was any truth to that. 

How about this stat: 30 turnovers, 4 assists.

That's not acceptable — on any level, much less Division I.

"It was like we had never practiced," Baggett said.

Leading scorers Anthony Myles and Nurideen Lindsey combined for zero points and 10 turnovers. That was over 27 points per game the Broncs lost.

Lindsey has 52 turnovers to just 18 assists this season. He's shooting over 50 percent, but the giveaways have been his worst enemy. Thompson has 24 turnovers and 41 assists.

Is it time to change the primary ballhandler?

Here's what Baggett said prior to Friday's win over Siena when asked if Thompson may play the point more:

"You are going to see some of that. I want to take some of the pressure off Nuri with guys locking in on him as he’s coming down the court. You’ll see both those guys at the point. (I) just want to take the pressure off Nuri having the ball in his hands all the time."

Thompson had 10 points, four assists and just one turnover Sunday.

In Lindsey's defense, he's not a true point guard. He's more of a scorer than a guy who's going to set his teammates up with six or seven assists per game. For Rider to be successful, he still has to score. If he attacks the rim effectively, the Broncs are at their best. He has a tendency to drive down a dead-end street. That's where a lot of the turnovers come from.

Some good news for the Broncs: They were 1-10 (0-2 in MAAC) at this time a year ago. Today, they are 6-5 (1-1). That's an improvement even if you are giving the ball away at an alarming rate.

Rider has until Dec. 20 to let this marinate before facing Princeton.

Surely, it can't be worse.

"Each guy has to look in the mirror, and basically, stop turning the ball over," Thompson said.

Here is how things look after two league games:
1. Canisius 6-1, 2-0
2. Loyola 8-3, 1-1
3. Rider 6-5, 1-1
4. Fairfield 5-5, 1-1
5. St. Peter's 4-5, 1-1
6. Iona 3-4, 1-1
7. Manhattan 3-5, 1-1
8. Marist 3-6, 1-1
9. Niagara 3-6, 1-1
10. Siena 2-9, 0-2
Manhattan 75, Siena 55: Rhamel Brown scored 21 points off the bench, making up for the loss of George Beamon (ankle) as Jaspers got much-needed win. Saints in big trouble.

Canisius 94, Marist 82: Yep, you read that right. The Griffs are 2-0 and on top of the MAAC. They've already doubled their win total in the league from a year ago. Still too early to tell if they are a title contender, but Jim Baron has done an outstanding job early on.


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