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

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Cancun Challenge Recap: Rider goes 1-1

Rider split a pair of games at the Cancun Challenge, falling to Cleveland State on Tuesday before bouncing back with a win over Houston Baptist on Wednesday — the Broncs' first of the season. A couple observations from the two games:

1. It's concerning to hear head coach Kevin Baggett say he's waiting for leaders to step up. This is a veteran group and one that should have that figured out five games into the season. A lot of folks looked toward Teddy Okereafor, but he's a quiet guy, who's more of a lead-by-example type. Right now, you get the sense, Baggett is looking or somebody to step up and say something. Maybe this is his way of getting it out of them. The message can only come from the coach so many times. At some point, somebody else has to step up. While the 1-4 start isn't ideal (Rider has a tough road game at Rhode Island on Sunday), it's no time to panic. After the URI trip, the schedule lightens up with two winnable MAAC games (home vs. Saint Peter's, at Fairfield) as well as three non-conference games where the Broncs will be favored (home vs. Wagner and Hartford, at Morgan State). Rider still has a guarantee game at Providence on Dec. 19.

2. This is not a good shooting team — at least not yet. Entering play Wednesday (not including the 6 made 3s vs. Houston Baptist), Rider had connected on just 15 3-pointers, tied for 327th in the country. After making 6 vs. HBU, the Broncs are 21 for 85 from beyond the arc for the year. That's 24.7 percent.

3. Kealen Ives was a sparkplug off the bench in the 67-56 victory over Houston Baptist. Ives provided 18 energetic minutes off the bench, scoring seven points and dishing out three assists. At 5-9, Ives certainly isn't the biggest guard, but he has great speed and vision. Look for Baggett to give him a chance when he returns to his home state of Rhode Island on Sunday. “Kealen is a sparkplug,” Baggett told “He has a lot of energy and he gives Teddy a chance to play off the ball when we play them together. He does a good job of seeing the floor. I am very happy with the way he is coming along.”

4. Remember South Dakota State when the Jackrabbits pop up in your bracket in March. SDSU is 6-0 after rolling past Houston Baptist and Cleveland State in Cancun. Had the Jackrabbits been given a shot at Maryland instead of Rider or Illinois State, they may have finished the job against the Terps. On the radio, Rider play-by-play man Daryl Fein compared them to the North Dakota State side the Broncs played two years ago in the Cable Car Classic. That NDSU team upset Oklahoma in the second round of the NCAA Tournament. The Jackrabbits, out of the Summit League, have that potential.


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home