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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

Sunday, January 3, 2016

Princeton Gameday: at Hampton; at Norfolk State

Who: Princeton (7-4) at Hampton (5-6) and Norfolk State (5-10).

When: Sunday, 3 p.m., Convocation Center, Hampton Virginia; Tuesday, 7 p.m., Echols Hall, Norfolk, Virginia.

Last Time Out: Princeton lost to No. 13 Miami (Fla.), 76-64; Hampton def. Louisiana-Monroe, 75-64.

Series History: Princeton and Hampton are meeting for the first time ever, while the Tigers beat Norfolk State last season in their only previous game. The contest at Hampton Sunday afternoon is the second of a four-game road trip and first of a two-stop tour of the MEAC. Princeton is 5-0 all-time vs. the MEAC.

Scouting Hampton: The Pirates haven’t played since Dec. 28 after their game at Texas State scheduled for New Year’s Eve was cancelled. They are, however, expected to be atop the MEAC coming off a 17-18 season and NCAA Tournament appearance, which included a victory in the first round over Manhattan. This is just Hampton’s second home game to date — it beat Appalachian State in its only other contest at the Convocation Center. First Team All-MEAC selection Quinton Chievous averages a team-high 18.3 points per game, while Reginald Johnson Jr. adds 16.2.

Scouting Norfolk State: The Spartans lost to Alabama on Saturday, their third straight defeat.  Like MEAC neighbor Hampton, Norfolk has spent much of its season on the road. The Spartans are 2-0 at Echols Hall, but both of those victories were over non-Division I opposition. Coach Robert Jones has mixed and matched lineups, giving nine different players a starting a nod. Jeff Short has been the most consistent performer, averaging 17 points per game. Also keep an eye on the well-traveled Charles Oliver (12.4 ppg), who had a cameo freshman campaign at Rider before moving on to Robert Morris and then Norfolk State.

Scouting Princeton: The Tigers are coming off a near-upset of No. 13 Miami. They led by seven in the second half and were in position to win the game until the Hurricanes roared back in the final six minutes. Don’t expect coach Mitch Henderson to change anything up — he’s used the same starting lineup in all 11 of Princeton’s games. Sophomore point guard Amir Bell arguable had his best game in a Tigers uniform against Miami, compiling 17 points. Princeton will be favored in both contests and a pair of victories would set it up at 9-4 heading into  the Ivy opener at Penn on Saturday.


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