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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 17, 2013

RIDER GAMEDAY: Sadler boost for trip to Purdue

 Who: Rider (0-1) at Purdue (2-0)

When: Sunday, 7 p.m., Mackey Arena

TV: Big Ten Network

Radio: 107.7 FM The Bronc

Last Time Out: Rider lost to Lehigh, 92-78; Purdue def. Central Connecticut State, 109-73

Coaches: Rider — Kevin Baggett, 2nd season (19-16); Purdue — Matt Painter, 9th season (178-95)

Background: There is some good news for Rider as it travels to the Midwest for a non-conference game against Purdue.

Coach Kevin Baggett said sophomore point guard Zedric Sadler will be available.

Sadler had a sore left knee and missed the season-opening loss at Lehigh.

“He’s going to play,” Baggett said before the team boarded a flight for Indiana. “I’m sure it won’t be significant minutes because this is his first game back. He just started practice this week.”

Sadler was suffering from knee tendinitis and had a platelet-rich plasma injection before the season started to help alleviated the pain.

Baggett originally thought the Detroit native would miss up to three games, but Sadler’s been able to get back on the floor quickly thanks to a spaced out opening schedule.

Sadler was penciled in as the starter at point guard and was expected to replace the scoring and defense of the departed Jon Thompson.

While he won’t play a large amount of minutes Sunday night, when Sadler does get back up to full strength, he’ll help a defense that allowed 14 3-pointers to the Mountain Hawks.

“I think you’ll see everybody start to settle in with who we are,” Baggett said. “He’ll guard, more often than not, the other team’s best guard. We get back the heart and soul of our team.”

The Broncs face a Purdue team coming off a pair of victories to open the season.

The Boilermakers squeaked by Northern Kentucky then toppled Central Connecticut State — Rider’s next opponent — by scoring 109 points.

They were buoyed by the return of 7-foot sophomore center A.J. Hammons from a three-game suspension against CCSU. He finished with 12 points and seven blocks.

That is likely going to pose a problem for a Broncs squad that only has one player over 6-foot-7.

"They can make shots, too," Baggett said. "They're going to be hard to defend. They're good at getting into the lane. I've had a chance to watch two of their games now and they are well coached. Those guys are good. We're going to face a challenge."

For their part, the players, are looking forward to facing a high-major opponent.

“You always look forward to this kind of game,” said senior forward Danny Stewart, who led the
team with 24 points in the opener, including a pair of 3-pointers, which doubled his career total.

“It’s always a challenge to go play in unfamiliar territory,” Stewart continued. “I don’t think anyone has ever been to Indiana. It will be interesting.”

Projected Starting Lineups: Rider: G- Jimmie Taylor (Fr., 11 ppg), G- Anthony Myles (Sr., 12 ppg), G- Shawn Valentine (So., 7 ppg), F- Danny Stewart (Sr., 24 ppg), F- Kahlil Thomas (Fr., 4 ppg).

Purdue: G- Terone Johnson (Sr., 13.5 ppg), G- Ronnie Johnson (So., 14.5 ppg),  G- Kendall Stephens (Fr., 7.5 ppg), F- Errick Peck (Sr., 11 ppg), C- A.J. Hammons (So., 12 ppg).


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