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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

Friday, January 10, 2014

RIDER GAMEDAY: Broncs start uptstate New York swing at Canisius

Who: Rider (7-5, 3-1) at Canisius (9-6, 3-1)

When: Friday, 7 p.m., Koessler Athletic Center

TV: None

Radio: 107.7 FM The Bronc

Last Time Out: Rider lost to Siena, 62-47; Canisius lost to Marist, 65-62

Background: Rider head coach Kevin Baggett hopes last Saturday’s loss to Siena was the wake-up call his team needed.

The Broncs suffered their first Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference defeat, stumbling through a 62-47 decision in which they shot 27.5 percent. The 47 points were a season low and 33 points off their average per game.

“It gave us a chance to kind of air some things out as coaches and players,” Baggett said. “Sometimes those lessons you have to learn cost you a game and are valuable in the end.”

What are those lessons?

Baggett said the attention to detail and focus in practice wasn’t good enough even as Rider won five of six games. He feared that would catch up to his team and it did against Siena.

“I don’t think it was as much as what Siena did as it was what we didn’t do,” Baggett said. “I’m excited to get back up and coach, and they’re excited to get back up and play.”

Baggett said he likes the way the team has responded this week at practice.

Asked what’s been better, he replied, “all of it,” listing off all the things — blocking out, making the extra pass, cutting harder, playing defense with a sense of urgency — that needed to improve.

Rider (7-6, 3-1) makes the upstate New York trip this weekend, beginning with a Friday night matchup at Canisius (9-6, 3-1). Look for senior forward Danny Stewart to get more touches early.

In the Broncs’ last two games, Stewart, who is averaging 15.8 points for the season, has 12 points and nine fouls.

“I think I just have to let it come to me and not force,” Stewart said. “Sometimes I think I try to force myself too early and not let the game come to me, and therefore I haven’t gotten much done. I still think I get enough touches, I just have finish when I get the ball.”

Against Siena, Stewart was 1-for-7 and fouled out in only 26 minutes.

“When he’s in foul trouble, it really messes with him mentally a little bit,” Baggett said. “It makes him more passive and not aggressive. We have to work on trying to keep him out of foul trouble.”

Some of that is wrong place and wrong time, but Stewart admits he has to do a better job staying on the floor.

“When I get in foul trouble, it is kind of hard to get in the groove,” Stewart said. “I just have to play smarter.”

The Griffs won 20 games a year ago and are led by MAAC Preseason Player of the Year Billy Baron, who is averaging 21.7 points per game.

Rider finishes the trip Sunday at Niagara, a team it beat Jan. 2 after holding off a furious rally.

More than anything, the Broncs want to get back on the floor and erase the memory of their worst performance of the year.

“We’re trying to go up there and get the sweep,” Stewart said.

Projected Starting Lineups: Rider: G-Zedric Sadler (So., 10.3 ppg), G-Jimmie Taylor (Fr., 12 ppg), G-Anthony Myles (Sr., 18.3 ppg), F-Danny Stewart (Sr., 15.8 ppg), C-Junior Fortunat (Jr., 4.5 ppg).

Canisius: G-Billy Baron (Sr., 21.7 ppg), G-Chris Perez (Sr., 10.5 ppg), G-Dominique Raney (So., 5.6 ppg), F-Chris Manhertz (Sr., 7.9 ppg), F-Jordan Heath (Sr., 11.3 ppg).


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