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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

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Princeton/Florida A&M preview

Who: Princeton Tigers (0-0) vs. Florida A&M Rattlers (0-1)
Where/When: 1 p.m., Jadwin Gym
Coaches: Princeton – Mitch Henderson. Florida A&M – Clemon Johnson.
Probable Starters: Florida A&M - F Walter Davis III, F Trey Kellum, C Odi Onyekachukwo, G Reggie Lewis, G Jamie Adams
Princeton - G Jimmy Sherburne, G Ben Hazel, F Denton Koon, F Will Barrett, F Hans Brase.

Background: The Rattlers lost the opening leg of their New Jersey road trip Friday night, falling to Rutgers 92-84 in a game that was closer than many expected. Florida A&M also surprised with their starting lineup, which did not include guard Jamie Adams, who was their leading scorer a season ago (Adams did, however, come off the bench to score nine points in 22 minutes). Considering that Adams came off the bench at almost exactly the 10 minute mark of the first half, I wouldn't be surprised if he gets the start today.

Here is what coach Mitch Henderson said about Adams Thursday:

“He played at Hail Franciscan, which is a school in Chicago that really emphasizes getting up and down, so that’s how he plays. I’ve never seen somebody get his own rebound and run his own break (like him.) We’re ready for that, but I’m not sure our guys know exactly what they are in for. They’ll figure it out. It’s going to be really important positioning, figuring out where you are on the floor and how to handle that. Talking in transition is going to be really important.”

The top performers for the Rattlers were forward Trey Kellem, who had 10 points and six rebounds, as well as reserve guard Muhammad Abdul-Aleem, who scored 16 points of the bench.

While Onyekachukwu is 6-foot-8, the Rattlers appear to struggle with size, getting outrebounded by Rutgers 37-50 and allowing the 6-9 Kadeem Jack to go off for 30 points and 12 boards. The Tigers don’t have a Kadeem Jack on their squad, but they still feature a big front line of 6-8 Denton Koon, 6-10 Will Barrett and 6-8 Hans Brase that could give Florida A&M trouble.

The key to the game could be how Princeton handles the Rattlers pressure, which they showed against the Scarlett Knights. With senior captain T.J. Bray out with a wrist injury, Jimmy Shurburne and Ben Hazel will need to make good decisions in the backcourt.

Here is what Henderson had to say about Hazel and Sherburne:

“They both give us something different. They are pretty different players. Jimmy’s got something that we really need, the ability to get to the basket. He’s a good passer and he sees things. He’s continuing to work on throwing it to the guys with the right color jersey. Orange and black, Jim. Ben is really a driller. He’s got a sense for the game. His biggest challenge is…how good do you want to be? Because I think he could be pretty good if he continues to push himself to be better than just making shots. He hasn’t been asked to carry a lot of the heavy lifting, and now we are asking him to do that.”


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