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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
Friday, November 30, 2012
Morning Run — Game 8: La Salle 63, Rider 52
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Rider can't match La Salle's energy
Thursday, November 29, 2012
Run it back: Wagner 48, Princeton 42 (OT)
Wagner 48, Princeton 42 (OT)
Game 8: La Salle (3-1) at Rider (4-3)
Stewart ready to face close friend Duren, La Salle
|Danny Stewart faces former High School teammate Tyreek Duren/ Photo by JOHN BLAINE|
Tuesday, November 27, 2012
Preview: Princeton (2-3) at Wagner (1-3)
Monday, November 26, 2012
Morning Run — Game 7: Rider 74, Wisconsin-Milwaukee 60
Rider swept its stay in Puerto Vallarta to finish a four-game road trip 2-2 and improve to 4-3 overall. The Broncs have already surpassed last season's non-conference win total (three).
Nurideen Lindsey and Danny Stewart each finished with 11 points.
The schedule gets considerably tougher, beginning Thursday night when La Salle visits Alumni Gymnasium. The Explorers (3-1) snapped a 10-game losing streak against Villanova Sunday with a 77-74 win in overtime.
Following La Salle's visit, Rider travels to Drexel, plays two MAAC games — at Siena and at home to Fairfield — and finishes non-league play with trips to Princeton, Rutgers and Delaware.
November's closing up shop and conference play is right around the corner so here is a look at how the MAAC stacks up:
1. Loyola (5-1)
2. Canisius (3-1)
3. St. Peter's (3-2)
4. Rider (4-3)
5. Fairfield (3-3)
6. Iona (2-2)
7. Niagara (2-3)
8. Marist (2-4)
9. Siena (2-4)
10. Manhattan (1-3)
And a whip around from Sunday:
Clemson 59, Marist 44: Red Foxes still leave Old Spice Classic with something to show for it after win over Vanderbilt.
Seton Hall 76, St. Peter's 61: Peacocks started 3-0 but have lost two straight.
Maine 72, Siena 66: Some Saints fans think Mitch Buonaguro is firmly on the hot seat. Still early, but losses like this don't help his cause.
Sunday, November 25, 2012
Run it back: Princeton 72, Lafayette 53
Ian Hummer - The 28 points are obviously the first thing that jumps out on the stat sheet, but what I find the most impressive about Hummer is his shot selection. A less intelligent player with his talent might be tempted to chuck up a bad three on occasion (especially if you think scouts might have some questions about your outside stroke) but Hummer understood where his advantage was against the Leopards. Everything was aggressive towards the hoop, with the majority of his points coming on dunks, layups or tip-ins. His 12 of 16 performance from the floor actually included a few missed layups. Add that to the 7 rebounds, 5 assists and 4 steals in just 33 minutes of action and that is about as dominant/efficient performance as you will see.
T.J. Bray - After the game, Bray admitted it took a few games to get his legs totally back underneath him after his offseason knee injury. While he didn't look bad running around before, his cuts did seems noticeably crisper Saturday and that translated into the box score. Bray had 17 points on 7 of 9 shooting. At 6-foot-5, he is way too big for most opposing point guards, especially when Denton Koon is in the game instead of Chris Clement. At least once, they isolated Bray in the post against a smaller defender. He also finished with 6 rebounds in a game where the Princeton bigs were rebounding effectively.
Tough scheduling - Before the trip to Syracuse, I asked Mitch Henderson if maybe, in a perfect would, they would have liked to face an easier opponent to bounce back from a pair of tough losses. To paraphrase his answer, he felt that the tough schedule makes a team better. Mitch 1, Me 0. The Tigers clearly got a boost of confidence after hanging around with the Orange into the second half, and played like a team that they knew should blow out a Patriot League squad. On a more technical level, they also showed that they could be effective offensively against Syracuse's zone defense, and so the Leopards chose to matchup with them in the half court. That, of course, resulted in an absolute field day for Ian Hummer.
Rebounding - After struggling a quite a bit on the glass against the smaller Rutgers, Princeton showed that their size advantage actually probably will matter a lot against teams like Lafayette, which was a pretty good stand-in for an Ivy League team. Brendan Connolly was as aggressive on the glass as he's been this season, pulling down 7 boards, and Will Barrett and Denton Koon each had 4. Even Hans Brase, in just 8 minutes off the bench, was able to come in and grab 2. Princeton ended up outrebounding the Leopards 32-21.
Starter Denton Koon - By putting 6-foot-8 Denton Koon in the starting lineup, it means that no Princeton starter is under 6-foot-5. Koon had a few ups and downs with the basketball, but the big benefit comes on the defensive end, where the length and quickness of the Tigers is really disruptive for an opposing offense. Koon also really seems to have improved as a ball handler, looking comfortable dribbling the ball up against a press. Though the move makes sense in the here and no, I'm sure its not lost on coach Henderson that by giving the sophomore important time now, he's also helping next years squad and the squad after that. Win-win-win all the way around.
Turnovers - Though it wasn't too much of an issue in the end, the Tigers could have stretched their lead a bit more in the second half if they took better care of the basketball. After the game, Hummer said that that was the one area of the game that he thought the team did execute as well as it could have, and I agree.
Princeton snaps skid with win at Lafayette
Game 7: Rider (3-3) vs. Wisconsin-Milwaukee (2-3)
When: 4:30 p.m., Sunday, Puerto Vallarta Convention Center, 107.7 FM The Bronc
Last time out: Rider def. Jacksonville, 86-71; UW Milwaukee lost to Jacksonville, 71-66.
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Saturday, November 24, 2012
Morning Run — Game 6: Rider 86, Jacksonville 71
Friday, November 23, 2012
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.
PREVIEW: Princeton at Lafayette 11/24
Wednesday, November 21, 2012
Game 5: SMU 83, Rider 70
Once again, the opponent's hot shooting sunk the Broncs.
Paced by Ryan Manuel's career-high 24 points and 57.1 percent shooting as a team, the Mustangs (5-0) went wire-to-wire, dealing Rider (2-3) its second straight defeat.
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QUICK REACTION: No. 6 Syracuse 73, Princeton 53
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Florida HS forward Kahlil Thomas signs NLI with Rider
Thomas, a 6-foot-7 forward from Lauderhill, Fla., averaged seven points and seven rebounds for Florida Class 7A state champion Blanche Ely as a junior.
In the title game, a 78-46 victory over Orlando Oak Ridge, Thomas scored 13 points and grabbed 14 rebounds. Blanche Ely went 30-3 last year, ending its season in the ESPN Rise tournament with a 67-61 loss to St. Benedict’s.
Thomas was an All-Broward County honorable mention selection and was ranked among the top 20 recruits in the Sunshine State by FloridaHoops.com
“We are excited Kahlil has chose to come to Rider,” Baggett said. “I think he is a really talented player who plays with a lot of energy. I think his best days are ahead of him.”
Rider is off to a 2-2 start. The Broncs are in the midst of a four-game road trip and travel to Puerto Vallarta, Mexcio for a pair of games on Friday and Sunday.
Video of Thomas below:
Tuesday, November 20, 2012
Bray trying to shoot himself out of slump
Princeton continues tough schedule with trip to Syracuse
COACH HENDERSON UNCUT: 11/19/12
Midday Run — Game 4: South Carolina 88, Rider 76
Tigers land verbal commit from 2014 recruit Amir Bell
Here is some non-highlight footage of Bell running the point for East Brunswick last year as a sophomore against Roselle Catholic. (#5 in green).
Monday, November 19, 2012
Game 4: Rider (2-1) at South Carolina (2-0)
Stewart wants to build on strong performance as Rider hits road
|Danny Stewart had 18 points in the win over Monmouth/ Photo by JOHN BLAINE|
Sunday, November 18, 2012
RUTGERS 58, PRINCETON 52: 'Same bad time, same bad channel'
QUICK REACTION: After Princeton’s 58-52 loss to Rutgers, Mitch Henderson broke the ice at the post-game press conference by quipping “same bad time, same bad channel,” a reference to Tuesday’s loss to Northeastern. The similarities between the two games were, indeed, striking. In both contests, the Tigers couldn’t protect an early lead due in large part to their difficulties scoring against zone defenses. That certainly doesn't bode well for their upcoming trip to Syracuse, a team legendary for it's athletic, active zone.
AROUND THE IVY
Drexel 61, Penn 59 The Quakers fall to 1-3 despite 21 points from Fran Dougherty.
Yale 63, Buffalo 59 Yale gets a win over the one team the Tigers have beaten this season.
Brown 70, Maine 68 Sean McGonagil drops 16 in Battle of Bears.
Marist 67, Columbia 62 Lions take first loss of season.
Morning Run — Game 3: Rider 65, Monmouth 62
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Broncs top Monmouth despite 28 turnovers
Saturday, November 17, 2012
Game 3: Monmouth (1-1) at Rider (1-1)
When: Saturday, 3 p.m., Alumni Gymnasium, 107.7 FM The Bronc
Last time out: Rider lost to Stony Brook, 54-46; Monmouth lost to No. 20 Notre Dame, 84-57.
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Friday, November 16, 2012
Princeton fails to make it three straight over Rutgers
|Princeton's Ian Hummer shoots over Rutgers' Wally Judge/ Photo by JOHN BLAINE|