Blogs > The Full-Court Press

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

Monday, March 24, 2014


CBI, second round

Who: Princeton Tigers (21-8) at Fresno State Bulldogs (18-16)

When/Where: 10 p.m. ET Monday, Fresno, Calif.

Coverage: WPRB 103.3,

Probable Lineups
Princeton: G T.J. Bray (6-5, senior, 18 PPG, 4.7 RPG, 5.2 APG). F Spencer Weisz (6-4, freshman, 9 PPG, 4.9 RPG, 2.2 APG). F Steven Cook (6-5, freshman, 4.5 PPG, 2.4 RPG). C Hans Brase (6-8, sophomore, 11 PPG, 5.5 RPG, 2.2 APG). F Will Barrett (6-10, senior, 10.4 PPG, 3.2 RPG, 1 APG).

Fresno: F Alex Davis (6-9, junior, 5.8 PPG, 3.8 RPG). G Paul Watson (6-7, freshman, 10 PPG, 4.6 RPG). G Tyler Johnson (6-4, senior, 15.7 PPG, 7.4 RPG, 3 APG). G Cezar Guerrero (6-1, sophomore, 12.8 PPG, 3.1 RPG, 3.7 APG). G Marvelle Harris (6-4, sophomore, 14.8 PPG, 5.5 RPG, 2 APG).
Last time out: The Tigers narrowly advanced past Tulane last Wednesday with a 56-55 win in New Orleans despite holding a 14-point second half lead. Fresno State also had a competitive opening game, beating UTEP 61-56.

On Fresno: On paper at least, the Bulldogs look like a tougher challenge for the Tigers than the Green Wave. Ranked 114th in the country by Ken Pomeroy (Princeton is ranked 95th), Fresno has three top-100 wins on the season against UTEP (97), Boise State (79) and UC Irvine (89). Offensively, they get a majority of their scoring from the backcourt trio of Tyler Johnson, Cezar Guerrero and Marvelle Harris.

Looking ahead: If the Tigers advance past Fresno State, they will reach the CBI’s Final Four, where they will play the winner of the Penn State/Siena game. Princeton got perhaps its most memorable win of the season against the Nittany Lions back in December, coming back from a double-digit second half deficit to win 81-79 in overtime at Penn State’s historic Rec Hall.

Friday, March 21, 2014

Stephens commits to Tigers

For The Trentonian/JOHN BLAINE

Former Pennington standout Myles Stephens, currently playing for St. Andrew’s School in Delaware, has committed to play his college basketball for the Princeton Tigers. He’ll graduate high school in 2015.

As a sophomore, the 6-foot-4 Stephens helped lead the Red Raiders to the 2013 NJISAA Prep B state championship, beating current Miami Hurricane Davon Reed and Princeton Day in the final.

Considered a two-star prospect by ESPN, Stephens was highly coveted by a host of Patriot and Ivy League schools. He also drew some interest from high majors, most notably getting a scholarship offer from Seton Hall.

Stephens is Princeton’s first major signing for its 2015 class. Its 2014 class is well regarded, with two three-star prospects in 6-10 Alec Brennan and 6-3 East Brunswick point guard Amir Bell. Forwards Jackson Forbes and Mike Leblanc and point guard Aaron Young round out the class.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014


College Basketball Invitational first round

Who: Princeton Tigers (20-8) at Tulane Green Wave (17-16)

Where/Where: 8 p.m. ET, Wednesday, New Orleans, La.

Probable Lineups
Princeton: F Hans Brase (6-8, sophomore, 10.8 PPG, 5.6 RPG, 2.2 APG). F Spencer Weisz (6-4, freshman, 9.2 PPG, 4.9 RPG, 2.3 APG). F Will Barrett (6-10, senior, 10.5 PPG, 3.3 RPG, 1 APG). F Steven Cook (6-5, freshman, 4.7 PPG, 2.4 RPG). G T.J. Bray (6-5, senior, 18.3 PPG, 4.8 RPG, 5 APG).

Tulane: C Tomas Bruha (7-0, senior, 2.9 PPG, 2.5 RPG). F Trevante Drye (6-6, junior, 6.6 PPG, 7.6 RPG). G Jay Hook (6-3, junior, 14 PPG, 5 RPG). G Louis Dabney (6-3, sophomore, 15.2 PPG, 4.q RPG, 2 APG). G Jonathan Stark (6-0, freshman, 14.4 RRG, 2.6 RPG, 4.2 APG).

On Tulane: Despite finishing just a game above .500 and bowing out of the Conference USA tournament to eventual-champion Tulsa in the quarterfinals, the Green Wave are back in the postseason after participating in the CIT a season ago. This season marked the first time in coach Ed Conroy’s four-year tenure that the Wave finished the regular season with a winning record. Tulane didn’t, however, played a weak schedule, and didn’t beat a single team in Ken Pomeroy’s top 150.
Before Conroy signed on with the Green Wave, he spent four seasons at the Citadel. After going just 7-23 in his first season, he led the Bulldogs to a 20-13 campaign in 2009.
In his final season there in 2010, the Citadel hosted No. 12 Michigan State, losing 69-56. In the building was Princeton coach Mitch Henderson, who was then an assistant for Northwestern.
“I don’t know (Conroy) super well, but when he was at the Citadel I got to see them play,” Henderson said Monday. “I was in the Big 10 at the time and they played a game against Michigan State at the Citadel. They were getting so many cuts and looks at the basket.”

Records on the line: While the primary motivation for accepting the CBI invitation was to allow the young core of sophomore Hans Brase and freshmen Spencer Weisz, Steven Cook and Pete Miller to play at least one more game together this season, there will be some milestones on the line. Senior guard T.J. Bray finished the regular season just five points of 1,000 for his career. In the likely event he reaches that mark against the Green Wave, he’ll be the 30th Princeton player to do so. The Tigers are also one 3-pointer away from tying the program’s regular season record of , set in Henderson’s senior year of 1997-98.

Saturday, March 8, 2014

MAAC TOURNEY: Danny Stewart, Anthony Myles say goodbye to solid Rider careers

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. — When Danny Stewart walked of the court after having fouled out in his final college game, head coach Kevin Baggett grabbed him and gave him warm embrace.

Both player and coach got emotional as one of the most underrated careers in Rider history came to an end.

“It was a lot of emotions flowing, knowing it was my last time wearing a Rider uniform,” the senior forward from Philadelphia said. “As the time was going down, I was just embracing everything, just remembering my four years and how I’ve grown and how they’ve helped me grow.”

Read more »

MAAC TOURNEY: Iona knocks Rider out in quarterfinals

Over the last 16 days, he got an up-close-and-personal look at how far it has to go.

The Gaels sent the Broncs home from the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference tournament in the quarterfinals with a 94-71 victory Saturday afternoon here at the MassMutual Center.

The victory — Iona’s third over Rider (14-17) this season — moved the Gaels (21-9), who have reached the last two NCAA tournaments, into Sunday’s semifinal round.

Read more »

MAAC TOURNEY: McKenzie, Mason lead Rider women past Fairfield

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. — Who is Stephanie Mason?

By the time the clock struck midnight turning Friday into Saturday everybody here at the MassMutual center knew exactly what the freshman guard for the Rider women’s basketball team could do.

Mason came off the bench and delivered one clutch 3-point shot after another as the Broncs reached the semifinals of the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference tournament for the first time in program history with a 63-56 victory over Fairfield.

Rider (15-16), which won just its fifth MAAC tournament game all-time, will face Marist (25-6) Sunday at 1:30 p.m.

Mason scored 14 points — all in the second half — connecting on four of her five attempts from beyond the arc, including the go-ahead 3 with 4:24 remaining.
Read more »

Friday, March 7, 2014

PRINCETON WEEKEND: Cornell and Columbia

(All stats as of March 6)
Who: Princeton Tigers (17-8, 5-6) at Cornell Big Red (2-24, 1-11)
When/Where: 7 p.m. Friday, Ithaca, N.Y.
Who: Princeton at Columbia Lions (18-11, 7-5)
When/Where: 7 p.m. Saturday, New York, N.Y.

Probable Starters

Princeton: G T.J. Bray (6-5, senior, 17.9 PPG, 4.5 RPG, 5.1 APG). C Hans Brase (6-8, sophomore, 11 PPG, 5.7 RPG, 2.3 APG). F Will Barrett (6-10, senior, 10.4 PPG, 3.5 RPG). F Spencer Weisz (6-4, freshman, 9.8 PPG, 4.6 RPG, 2.2 APG). F Steven Cook (6-5, freshman, 2.3 PPG, 2.2 RPG).

Cornell: F Dwight Tarwater (6-6, senior, 6.9 PPG, 5.6 RPG, 1.1 APG). F David Onuorah (6-9, freshman, 3.3 PPG, 3.9 RPG). G Darryl Smith (6-2, freshman, 5.2 PPG, 2.5 RPG). G Devin Cherry (6-3, junior, 12.3 PPG, 4.2 RPG, 3.3 APG). G Nolan Cressler (6-4 sophomore, 16.3 PPG, 4.2 RPG, 1.6 APG).

Columbia: C Cory Osetkowski (6-10, junior, 6.3 PPG, 3.8 RPG, 1.7 APG). F Alex Rosenberg (6-7, junior, 16.1 PPG, 3.6 RPG). G Isaac Cohen (6-4, sophomore, 3.6 PPG, 5.4 RPG, 2.8 APG). G Meiko Lyles (6-3, junior, 5.8 PPG, 3.3 RPG). G Maodo Lo (6-3, sophomore, 14.3 PPG, 3.8 RPG, 2 APG).

On Princeton: If you follow Princeton basketball, you know the story: the Tigers looked like they would be serious threat to Harvard’s growing dominance after going 12-2 in the nonconference, only to lose their first four Ivy League games. After mixing up the lineup a bit — most notably with freshman Steven Cook, who has added a strong defensive presences — Princeton has quietly clawed back into the middle of the Ivy pack, winning five of its last seven games. If they sweep Cornell and Columbia, the Tigers will have a chance to go for their 20th win of the season at home next Tuesday against Penn. While that isn’t what they hoped they’d be playing for at this time of year, it’s not the worst consolation prize considering how they started.

On Cornell: While if you squint, you can make out some positive developments in Ithaca — sophomore Nolan Cressler is one of the better individual scorers in the league, and the Big Red have a promising freshman duo in David Onuorah and Darryl Smith — the reality is that Cornell is probably one of the worst teams in Division I this year. They have just one win over a DI opponent (beating struggling Dartmouth three weekends ago), and are ranked 332nd of 351 by college basketball analytics guru Ken Pomeroy. They did take Brown to overtime Feb. 22, but the Bears were playing without center Rafael Maia, who is one of the most prolific rebounds in the league.

On Columbia: If the Ivy League had a conference tournament, the Lions would be a popular darkhorse pick to make noise. Though they got drubbed at Harvard last Saturday, they took the Crimson to two overtimes Feb. 14 and effectively ended Yale’s championship aspirations with a 62-46 win Feb. 23 in upper Manhattan. Junior Alex Rosenberg has emerged as a likely first-team All-Ivy player, while sophomore Maodo Lo should get serious consideration for the second team. The Lions figure to be a reasonable candidate for either the CBI or CIT if coach Kyle Smith and company decide to go that route.

MAAC TOURNEY: Rider hopes third time is the charm against Iona in quarters

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. — The old adage says it’s hard to beat the same team three times in one season.

Rider (14-16) hopes the third time is the charm when it meets top-seeded Iona (20-9) in the quarterfinals of the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference tournament Saturday (noon, ESPN3, 107.7 FM The Bronc) here at the MassMutual Center.

The Gaels swept the regular-season series, winning 80-77 in Lawrenceville and 97-81 in New Rochelle, N.Y.

This will be the third meeting between the schools in 16 days.
Read more »

MAAC TOURNEY: Broncs end skid with victory over Monmouth

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. — Zedric Sadler and his Rider teammates are looking at the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference tournament as a brand-new season.

So far they’re 1-0.

The Broncs snapped out of their late-season funk for at least one night with a 71-60 victory over Monmouth in the opening round of the conference tournament here Thursday at the MassMutual Center.

“We’re not trying to go home,” Sadler said. “We’re going to come out and play everyday.”

Danny Stewart scored 25 points and grabbed nine rebounds, Anthony Myles finished with 13 and Jimmie Taylor added 12 for Rider (14-16), which had lost seven of its final eight regular-season games.

“When the playoffs start, everything is 0-0,” said Stewart, who finished 6-for-9 from the floor and 12-for-14 from the line. “We have the mindset that we come in here and be 1-0 and move on to the next game.”

Read more »

MAAC TOURNEY: McKenzie's second-half dominance leads Rider past Saint Peter's

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. — MyNeshia McKenzie was determined to make sure she wouldn’t finish her college career without a victory in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference tournament.

With the Rider women trailing 11th-seeded Saint Peter’s at halftime, McKenzie took over.

The senior forward scored 19 of her game-high 25 points in the second half and the sixth-seeded Broncs knocked off the Peacocks, 64-55, Thursday afternoon here at the MassMutual Center.

“This could have been my last college game,” McKenzie said. “That’s how I came into it. I sat up this morning and I’m like, ‘I don’t want this to end.’”

McKenzie’s brilliant career in a Broncs uniform will continue Friday night when the Rider (14-15) faces third-seeded Fairfield (20-9) at 9:30 p.m.

Read more »

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Team-by-Team guide to the MAAC tournament

Senior Anthony Myles hopes Rider can turn things around in the MAAC tourney. Photo by John Blaine.

March is here so let the madness begin.

The Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference tournament tips off Thursday in what promises to be another open field. The last time the top seed won the MAAC tourney was Siena in 2010.

With 11 teams competing in the league — Monmouth and Quinnipiac were added and Loyola departed — the top five seeds all get a bye while 6-11 play in Thursday’s opening round.

First check out these links to keep you updated on Rider:

Rider searching for answers at MAAC tourney

Myles says Broncs still have life left

Despite bad luck, Rider women eager for MAAC tourney

Read more »

Monday, March 3, 2014

All-MAAC teams announced

Senior MyNeshia McKenzie a first team selection. Photo by Gregg Slaboda

LAWRENCEVILLE — For the second straight year, MyNeshia McKenzie has a chance to win the women’s Player of the Year in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference.

McKenzie was one of five Rider players honored by the league on Monday during its annual pre-tournament conference call.

A senior forward from Springfield, Pa., McKenzie was a first-team selection for the second straight season. She ranks second in the MAAC in scoring (19.5 ppg) and rebounding (11.1).

The five players on the first team are eligible for Player of the Year.
Read more »

Sunday, March 2, 2014

RIDER GAMEDAY: Broncs finish regular season at Iona

Who: Rider (13-15, 9-10) at Iona (19-9, 16-3)

When: Sunday, 2:30 p.m., Hynes Athletic Center


Radio: 107.7 FM The Bronc

Last Time Out: Rider lost to Canisius, 79-66; Iona lost to Manhattan, 80-77 in OT

Previous Meeting: Iona won 80-77 on Feb. 21

Background: The Broncs close out the regular-season slate at the Gaels, who have already clinched the top seed in the MAAC tournament and a NIT bid should they fail to earn the league's automatic NCAA berth.

Rider has lost six of its last seven, slipping from fifth place to sixth meaning it will have to play in the opening round of the conference tournament.
Read more »

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Rider continues slide in MAAC standings with loss to Canisius

LAWRENCEVILLE — If Rider still has any thoughts, however unlikely, about making a run in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference tournament, it will have to win four games in four days.

The Broncs made sure they won’t have one of the top five seeds after losing for the sixth time in seven games following a 79-66 setback against Canisius Friday night at Alumni Gymnasium.

“We’re just not competing,” senior guard Anthony Myles said. “We’re not responding to our adversity like we need to. It’s just disappointing. Nobody was expecting it to happen this way. We still got the tournament to look forward to so we can’t hold our heads down.”

Read more »