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The Trentonian's Full-Court Press blog is back and improved. We'll keep you updated on everything you need to know about Rider and Princeton hoops as well as the college basketball landscape.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Game 17: Rider (7-9, 2-2) at Manhattan (4-10, 2-2)

George Beamon is out with an ankle injury/ AP PHOTO

Who: Rider (7-9, 2-2) at Manhattan (4-10, 2-2).

When: 7 p.m., Thursday, Draddy Gymnasium, ESPN3, 107.7 FM The Bronc.

Last time out: Rider def. Siena, 72-53; Manhattan lost to Iona, 78-70.

Background: The Jaspers were a trendy pick to contend for the league title after Steve Masiello’s strong debut season in charge saw them finish third, but injuries have left them shorthanded.

George Beamon, the league’s top returning scorer, has played just four games, while point guard Michael Alvarado has missed the last two.

Both have ankle injuries.


Masiello said Beamon is unlikely to be back “any time soon” and that the school is exploring a redshirt option for him.

Alvarado, a junior, is closer to a return, but won’t play Thursday night against the Broncs.

“A little bit of black clouds in Riverdale,” Masiello said, “but I give my kids a lot of credit because their attitude and character has been resilient.”

Beamon, a senior, is averaging 16.8 points per game in his four appearances, but he hasn’t played since Dec. 2.

Between them, Manhattan is missing close to 25 points per game.

“Sometimes it’s not just the points and numbers, it’s more of the psychological approach when the guys step out on the court with that guy with them,” Masiello said. “I think that’s what we struggle with the most.”

Masiello is hopeful his team can keep its head above water without its starting backcourt.

“What I told our guys is, ‘I expect you to make mistakes. I expect you to have turnovers. I don’t expect you to be George and Mike, and I’m OK with that,’” Masiello said. “This could be a great blessing for us because maybe you get those guys back down the road. Guys now have minutes and experience they wouldn’t have got.”

Projected starting lineups: Rider: G-Jon Thompson (Sr. 10.6 ppg), G-Anthony Myles (Jr. 12.7 ppg), G-Nurideen Lindsey (Jr. 11.1 ppg), F-Danny Stewart (Jr. 10 ppg), C-Dera Nd-Ezuma (Sr. 2.7 ppg).
Manhattan: G-Mohamed Koita (Sr. 4.3 ppg), G-RaShawn Stores (So. 5.8 ppg), F-Emmy Andujar (So. 7.8 ppg), F-Rhamel Brown (Jr. 11.7 ppg), F-Ryan McCoy (So. 0.9 ppg).

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