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Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Lindsey plays underrated defense for Broncs

Nurideen Lindsey is know for his offense, but he also plays a pretty solid defense/ Photo by JOHN BLAINE

While much has been made of Nurideen Lindsey’s offensive struggles, there’s more to his game than that.

Rider coach Kevin Baggett said Wednesday he thinks his defense is underrated.

“He’s pretty good in the press and anticipating things,” Baggett said. “He’s coming around defensively. He’s better on the ball than he is off the ball.”

Lindsey had five steals in the Broncs’ win over Siena. He’s second on the team this season with 25 swipes.

What that does is allow him to get easy baskets in transition. Baggett also made the choice to move Lindsey off the ball before the Rutgers game, giving Jon Thompson the responsibilities at point guard.


“It has given him a chance to come down and see things,” Baggett said.

The coach hopes it also stops opponents from keying on him, opening up some driving lanes so Lindsey can do what he does best — attack the rim.

But that also means he has to knock down open shots when he has them. While Lindsey is a fairly efficient 45.9 percent for the year, he’s only shooting it at 29.4 percent from behind the arc.

Including the Rutgers game, he’s 16 of 39 (41 percent).

“He just needs to do a better job of knocking down some of those shots when he’s open,” Baggett said. “He’s working on that.”

“There’s no frustration,” Lindsey said after a recent loss to Delaware.“That just happens in basketball. I’ve been struggling. We have a long season. I’ll continue to get better.”

Baggett said Lindsey, who came in from St. John’s last January and was granted a hardship waiver to play at the beginning of the season, felt like he had to carry the team on his back.

Expectations only grew after he scored 26 points in his debut.

“When he first came in, he thought he was going to need to carry the burden,” Baggett said. “We’re not asking him to do that.”

What he wants from Lindsey is for him to help the team win.

The rest will take care of itself.

“Defend and do the little things we’re asking him to do,” Baggett said. “He’s totally bought into all those things.”

*** 
Rider travels to Manhattan Thursday night and Baggett insists his team isn’t changing its approach against the undermanned Jaspers.

Manhattan is missing its starting backcourt through injury.

“We have to come ready to go regardless of how many guys they are playing and how many guys they have out injured,” Baggett said.

So Baggett expects a battle.
 
“We focus on trying to come out of their with a win,” he said. “I know those guys are shorthanded, but they are going to battle, they are going to compete. They’ve adjusted now to not having those guys in the lineup the last couple of games.”

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