The Rider Broncs enter this weekend’s MAAC tournament as one of the league’s hottest teams. Head coach Kevin Baggett’s squad is averaging an astounding 98.3 points per game over its last three contests, all double-digit wins in which the Broncs shot over 54% from the field. Continue reading “MAAC Tournament Primer: Rider”
Amidst the wins and losses, the stories of the individual players that inhabit mid-major basketball often get lost in the shuffle.
Amadou Sidibe was a good sophomore player on a bad Fairfield squad in 2014-15 (7-25). The next season was worse, believe it or not, because early in the season Sidibe developed knee problems that he was never really able to shake as the Stags limped to an almost identical 7-24 mark.
Sidibe underwent surgery after that campaign, and hoped to be ready to go by the start of his senior season in 2015-16, but he wasn’t quite 100 percent so the staff and doctors were cautious. Only a month later, it still wasn’t improving and eventually the decision was made to shut him down for the year, turning him into a well-dressed 6’9” cheerleader, a role he embraced as Fairfield went 19-14 (12-8 in the MAAC) and returned to the postseason (CIT).
Rider was locked a road battle at Marist Friday night, which wasn’t totally unexpected, road games are always difficult in conference, and although the Red Foxes have been in rebuilding mode for a couple of years now, they had picked off a few teams in MAAC play and were already 2-0 in conference this season.
Then, suddenly, it wasn’t a game. You looked up and Rider had a double digit lead and was on its way to a 73-62 road win. There wasn’t a huge run (Stevie Jordan and Jimmie Taylor did hit big three-pointers), but the Broncs outscored Marist 24-11 in the final 8:30 to slowly get away.
Indeed, it is playing much, much faster (more on that below), there isn’t much flashy about Rider. Taylor leads the team averaging 13.6 points per game, but their two biggest assets are their consistency and defense, two things that aren’t exactly going to grab headlines outside of central New Jersey.
This season may very well be a big one for the MAAC. Many of the league’s most talented players return, including the reigning Player of the Year, Monmouth’s Justin Robinson. Continue reading “MAAC 2016-17 Season Preview: Team Rankings”
ALBANY, N.Y. — It was not exactly the most crisp game for either side but Monmouth asserted themselves on the Times Union Center court in their first appearance as top seed. Continue reading “Monmouth 59, Rider 48: Hawks Advance In Ugly Fashion”