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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

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

RIDER GAMEDAY: Broncs try to continue dominance over Monmouth in MAAC opener

Who: Rider (2-4) at Monmouth (3-4)

When: Thursday, 7 p.m., Multipurpose Activities Center


Radio: 107.7 FM The Bronc

Last Time Out: Rider lost to North Dakota State, 87-70; Monmouth def. North Carolina A&T, 76-61.

Background: The Broncs travel to West Long Branch Thursday night to welcome the Hawks to the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference.

Monmouth, under third-year coach King Rice, was picked to finish bottom of the league in preseason, but comes into the matchup on the back of two consecutive wins.

Junior guards Deon Jones and Andrew Nicholas are the main scoring threats, averaging 18.3 and 14.6 points per game, respectively.

Freshman Josh James, winner of two MAAC Rookie of the Week awards already, is off to a nice start coming off the bench, putting up 9.3 points per contest.

“Those guys have been getting up and down,” Rider coach Kevin Baggett said. “I know they are playing a more up and down style of basketball. There are a lot of young guys that are doing it with a lot of excitement and energy. They are buying into King Rice’s program and what he’s trying to get accomplished. It’s going to be a tough task. Those guys want to get up and down and they want a fast-paced game. We’re hoping to get them to play at our speed and not at their speed.”

These in-state rivals (separated by about 50 miles) used to be foes in the Northeast Conference with the Broncs holding a 23-15 edge in the series.

Since Rider left the NEC for the MAAC, it has dominated the series, winning 12 of 16 games, including six in a row and eight of the last nine.

The Broncs famously beat the Hawks in the 1994 NEC title game — the last time the school reached the NCAA tournament.

“I think historically because they are two New Jersey schools that are close by that have played not just in basketball but throughout the other sports there has been a rivalry,” Baggett said. “I’m sure it will even develop more now that they are in the league. We’re going to be competing for the same kids in the same league, so I’m sure it’s going to continue to get even better.”

The Broncs are led by senior Anthony Myles, who averaged 25 points per game in the team’s West Coast trip for the Cable Car Classic.

Myles scored a career-high 27 points in the overtime win over Rice, becoming the 34th player in program history to reach the 1,000-point plateau. Senior Danny Stewart was the 33rd player earlier this season.

“Anthony is doing a really good job trying to focus on not just being a perimeter jump shooter. He’s trying to be a complete player,” Baggett said. “With the new rules, his athleticism and ability to get to the basket, he’s been able to take advantage of it. I certainly hope he continues to do it because it’s hard to defend him. You just can’t guard him as a jump shooter anymore.”

Projected Starting Lineups: Rider: G-Zedric Sadler (So., 9.6 ppg), G-Jimmie Taylor (Fr., 11.7 ppg), G-Anthony Myles (Sr., 18.7 ppg), F-Danny Stewart (Sr., 14.8 ppg), C-Junior Fortunat (Jr., 6.2 ppg).
Monmouth: G-Deon Jones (Jr., 18.3 ppg), G-Justin Robinson (Fr., 8.9 ppg), G-Andrew Nicholas (Jr., 14.6 ppg), F-Tyrone O’Garro (So., 3.9 ppg), C-Zac Tillman (Fr., 2.7 ppg).


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