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

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Rider needs Okereafor to re-find confidence

Teddy Okereafor made some key plays against Quinnipiac. (John Blaine Photo)

If Teddy Okereafor has been suffering from a crisis of confidence of late, head coach Kevin Baggett is hopeful some of the crucial plays he made helping secure victory at Quinnipiac will help him snap out of it.

Okereafor, a junior guard in his first season at Rider after transferring from VCU and sitting out last year, got off to a hot start, but has cooled off considerably since posting 21 points in a win over Morgan State on Dec. 18.

In the six games since, Okereafor has reached double figures just once and is shooting 24.5 percent (13 for 53) during that span.

“It’s a little bit of confidence,” Baggett said following Thursday’s 56-53 win over Quinnipiac. “It’s a little bit of him still trying to find his way. All of this is new to him, trying to figure out the league and find himself a little bit. We just have to continue to build his confidence.”

Okereafor showed signs late in that victory at Quinnipiac.

He did all of the following late in the second half:

>> Made a 3-pointer.
>> Drove for a layup.
 >> Knocked down two free throws with 31 seconds left.
>> Got a key steal when Quinnipiac needed a three to tie in the final seconds.
>> Rebounded a missed free throw with 2.4 seconds remaining.

Those are the kinds of plays Baggett hopes will give the London, England native a confidence boost.

“Teddy’s competitor and he’ll find a way,” Baggett said. “I had to light a fire under him because I trust him and I believe in him. He’s only been with us a short time, but I have that trust in him.”

Okereafor is averaging 10.1 points per game while shooting at a 36.5 percent clip.

Even with Okereafor trying to find his way, the Broncs (11-7, 5-2) have still won seven of their last eight.

They return to action Sunday against Manhattan (2 p.m., Draddy Gymnasium, Riverdale, New York, 107.7 FM The Bronc).

The Jaspers (8-8, 5-2) have righted the ship after a rocky start and have won four straight, including an overtime victory at Saint Peter’s on Friday.

Versatile forward Emmy Andujar is the key man for Steve Masiello’s squad. Andujar averages a team-high 14.5 points and 6.9 rebounds per contest.

Shane Richards is a threat from beyond the arc. He shoots it at a 37.8 percent clip from deep and has attempted 119 3s, which ranks second in the MAAC behind Iona’s A.J. English (140).


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home