Rider Gameday: vs,. Kennesaw State
Who: Kennesaw State (3-6) at Rider (5-3)
When: Wednesday, 7 p.m., Alumni Gymnasium
TV/ Radio: None/ 107.7 FM The Bronc
Last Time Out: Rider def. Pacific, 73-66; Kennesaw State lost to Michigan, 82-55
Series History: First meeting
Background: This is Rider’s second of four games in the Gotham Classic and the only one it plays at home. The Broncs are 1-0 in the Classic following their win at Pacific. They go to North Carolina A&T and UMass next week.
Defense Travels: Kevin Baggett’s clubs have always hung their hats on the defensive end, so it shouldn’t come as a surprise that Rider is 5-0 when holding the opposition under 70 points. “Our guys are getting better defensively,” Baggett said following the victory over Pacific. “They understand that we hang our hat on the defensive end. Sixty-five is that number that we look for. Obviously, they had 66. They shot the three well late in the second half. But we know that defense travels.”
Taylor Made: Jimmie Taylor is putting together a solid senior season. The Floridian leads the team in scoring (13.1 ppg) and minutes played (35.4). In fact, Taylor has sat for just 37 minutes all season. He’s also tallied in double figures in four of the last five games and is connecting on a career-best 80.6 percent from the foul line.
Scouting Kennesaw State: The Owls, out of the Atlantic Sun, have a few familiar names on their bench. Head coach Al Skinner spent 13 seasons at Boston College, winning 247 games between 1997-2010, including six NCAA Tournament appearances in seven years. Skinner’s associate head coach at Kennesaw is Michael Cotton, who served one season under Baggett at Rider in 2012-13. On the court, the Owls are led by Quinnipiac transfer Kendrick Ray (22.3 ppg) and Aubrey Williams (13.1 pts./ 11.8 reb.).