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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, November 7, 2014

Taylor aiming for super sophomore season

Lawrenceville >> Jimmie Taylor wants more.

Yes, Rider’s sophomore guard was pleased to hear he was recognized by the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference, but that comes only in the form of a preseason award.

Little more than a pat on the back before tip-off.

“I feel like I can be better than that,” said Taylor, who was tabbed a third-team selection during the league’s preseason awards show broadcast Wednesday night on ESPN3. “I feel like I can get more recognition than that, but I know I’m going to have to prove that this year.”

Taylor, a 6-3 guard from Branford, Florida, is coming off a freshman campaign in which he averaged 12.1 points per game. He also earned a place on the MAAC All-Rookie team.

“I feel like there’s more to me than being third team,” Taylor said. “Instead of talking about, I have to show it.”

The Broncs prep for their regular-season opener Nov. 14 at Princeton with an exhibition game Saturday at Alumni Gymnasium against Division II Kutztown (Pa.).

The Bears went 10-17 last season. This is the second straight year Rider has played an exhibition against a PSAC school. It beat an East Stroudsburg team last season which went 30-2 and reached the Division II Sweet 16.

“It gives us another barometer of where we are,” third-year head coach Kevin Baggett said. “I need to make sure we are working on rotations, substitutions and everything to be ready for the games.”

Once again Rider has opted for one closed door scrimmage and one exhibition. The NCAA allows for two preseason fixtures of any combination.

Baggett said he likes to play one exhibition game because it serves as a dress rehearsal for opening night.

“We need to start mentally getting prepared for the season,” Baggett said. “It gives us a chance to get some of our fans out and get to see our team for the first time.”

Baggett said he isn’t set on a starting five and part of Saturday’s exhibition is finding combinations that work.

“I’m getting there,” Baggett said. “I’m not there totally.”

Rider went 14-17 a year ago and 9-11 in the MAAC, losing seven of its final eight regular-season games.

The Broncs were picked to finish seventh in the 11-team MAAC in the preseason poll.

Defending regular-season champ Iona is the favorite followed by Siena and Manhattan.

So might that be motivation?

“All I got to say on that whole thing is we’ll see and that’s why we play the games,” Baggett said.

Added Taylor: “We use that as motivation, but we also can’t get to involved in basketball politics.”

At this point, Taylor and his teammates are ready to be on the floor Nov. 14 at Jadwin Gym.

The wait is almost over.

“I’m ready,” Taylor said. “We’ve been going at it since July. I’m ready to play now.”


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