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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

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Rider seniors ready to reach next level

LAWRENCEVILLE — Anthony Myles still has that sour taste in his mouth and he can’t wait to wash it away.

So count the Rider senior among those eager for the 2013-14 season to get started.

“Everyday,” Myles said when asked if he still thinks about the way the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference tournament ended for the Broncs.

Of course, that was the infamous 21-turnover, 0-assist loss to Fairfield. That is motivation enough for guys like Myles and fellow senior Danny Stewart to be chomping at the bit.

“It bothers me because we didn’t beat Fairfield all year,” Stewart said. “To lose to them again — for the third time — was rough. We try to put that behind us because we know what we have to do to get ready for this year.”

If Rider is going to improve on the 19-15 campaign from a year ago, Myles and Stewart have to put up strong seasons.

Both are preseason second team all-league selections. And with that, come heightened expectations.

“To be honest, last year I wasn’t satisfied with where we got,” Myles said. “I want to go forward with that. I want to get to the NCAA Tournament.”

Myles, a lefty with a smooth stroke, averaged 12.4 points per game last year. He shot 34.1 percent on 3-pointers, attempting and making (57 for 167) the most on the team.

But he also understands he has to be more consistent. No longer can he stand on the perimeter and wait to launch from long range.

“Being more aggressive to the basket,” Myles said when asked where he though he could improve. “I feel like I settled too much on the perimeter and now this year, I’m focusing on going to the basket and getting to the free throw line. Also rebounding because with my body, being a guard, I’m one of the bigger guards in the league.”

Second-year coach Kevin Baggett said he expects Myles to log some minutes at point guard, too with Zedric Sadler set to miss the first few weeks because of a knee injury.

Myles knows he’s not a natural point guard, but said he’ll be able to adjust to the new role when called on.

Baggett doesn’t expect anything less from his senior captain.

“There is a lot on Anthony,” Baggett said. “He’s preseason picked second team and if we’re going to be good, I need him to be first team. We need him to be up in that area, carrying this team, whether it be his defense, his offense or his leadership in general.”

Same goes for Stewart, a 6-foot-7 forward, who averaged 10.6 points and 7.2 rebounds per contest.

To be good, he needs to average a double-double.

“Pretty realistic,” said Stewart, who has 13 in his career. “I’ve done it a few times toward the end of last year (and) I was getting a couple. It takes more effort and more work, but I think I’m able to do it.”

Baggett wants Stewart to be a threat on the perimeter, too.

“He’s making shots — making 3s — he only has one 3 in his career up to this point, but he’s actually shooting it with confidence,” the coach said. “The one thing I need him to do when the season comes, because there will be times when he will struggle, I don’t want him to go back to being a post guy. I need him to be able to play on the perimeter. Be able to score, drive it, finish it. He is a complete player now as a senior.”

The Broncs haven’t been to the NCAA Tournament since 1994 when they were knocked out by now-assistant coach Donyell Marshall and Connecticut.

So what would it mean to get this school on the national stage?

“That would mean the world to me,” Myles said. “That’s what I work for everyday.”

He hopes to answer that again in March.


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