#113 Rider Men's Basketball 2013-2014 Preview

Rider Broncs

2013-2014 Overall Rank: #113
Conference Rank: #3 MAAC

Rider Team Page#113 Rider Men's Basketball 2013-2014 PreviewBuy Rider Basketball Tickets

This will be a very interesting season for Rider and second year head coach Kevin Baggett. The Broncs tied for second place in the MAAC with a 12-6 record and earned a trip to the CIT. That was a good showing from a relatively young team. But this is still a young team too and now they have to replace their best two players, both of whom could handle the ball. That leaves Rider with a big hole at the point.

2012-13 Record: 19-15, 12-6
2012-13 Postseason: CIT
Coach: Kevin Baggett
Coach Record: 19-15 at Rider, 19-15 overall

Who’s Out:
Jonathon Thompson had another great season as a senior, averaging 13.1 points, 3.1 assists, 3.9 rebounds and 1.5 steals. His consistent production over the years has kept Rider among the best teams in the Metro Atlantic. The Broncs were prepared to move on without him after the 2012-2013 campaign. They were not prepared to lose Nurideen Lindsey. The former St. John’s transfer averaged 8.0 points and 1.6 assists for Rider before opting to try his luck in the professional ranks. Lindsey committed way too many turnovers, but he was the guy who could replace Thompson running the show. Center Dera Nd-Ezuma gave the team some much needed size and Jamal Nwaniemeke barely saw the floor last season.

Who’s In:
Jimmie Taylor, Davis Graham and Brandon Channer will help fill the holes on the perimeter. Taylor is a big 6-3 point guard who can get up and down the floor in a hurry. Taylor may not be ready to step right into the starting job, but he will have to play some quality minutes from day one. Channer is a versatile and tough wing player who has the talent to crack the regular rotation. He can do a lot of things on either end of the floor and that versatility will come in very handy for Coach Baggett. Depth in the frontcourt is also needed and Xavier Lundy and Kahlil Thomas should be able to provide it. Lundy is 6-7 and 220 pounds, yet he has plenty of versatility and athleticism. He can add a slashing dynamic to the power forward position or even spend some time at the three spot if Rider can find the depth to play big. But it is Thomas who is expected to contribute the most this season. The 6-7 forward is another great athlete who can keep up with Rider when they get up and down the floor. Thomas may not be the toughest forward around, but he can use his athleticism to do a lot of good things on the glass.

Who to Watch:
Anthony Myles will be the new go-to-scorer on the perimeter. The 6-5 senior led Rider in three-pointers made, but could stand to be a bit more consistent with his shot. More importantly, Myles is more than a shooter. He can use his size, speed and strength to make things happen and finish around the basket. He even ranked second on the team in rebounding last year and winning the rebounding battle will be extremely important this season if the Broncs are going to keep committing too many turnovers. Zedric Sadler had a promising freshman campaign, averaging 5.1 points per game and averaging over 22 minutes per game. With a year of experience under his belt, Sadler could be in for a big year. Tommy Pereira took nearly all of his shots from beyond the arc last season. He can provide a nice spark off of the bench, but somebody also needs to handle the ball every once in a while and Pereira, along with every other guard, will get a look. Khalil Alford did not earn much playing time as a freshman, yet he is a capable scoring threat around the basket and could find more minutes if his outside shot finds some consistency.

Final Projection:
With the inside-outside combination of Myles and Daniel Stewart, Rider has a couple proven, all-conference caliber players. Stewart, a 6-7 senior, is a consistent interior scorer who can knock down the mid-range jumper as well. After averaging 10.6 points and 7.2 rebounds as a junior, Rider expects big things from Stewart this time around. But he does need some help in the frontcourt. Much of that help may come from Thomas, but Junior Fortunat is back to find some consistency after his up and down sophomore season. Fortunat has the size that this team needs in the paint. He is a strong rebounder and an efficient enough scorer when he is really close to the basket. With some improvement all around, Fortunat could be a very important piece to the puzzle. Shawn Valentine is more of a big wing than a forward, but at 6-7 he does have the size to help out on the glass. If young players like Valentine, Sadler and the freshmen can keep improving, the Broncs will have a very good team by January. Myles and Stewart can hold down the fort until then. However, finding a point guard could prove problematic and that will keep Rider outside of the top spot in the MAAC.

Projected Postseason Tournament: CBI/CIT

Projected Starting Five:
Jimmie Taylor, Freshman, Guard, DNP last season
Zedric Sadler, Sophomore, Guard, 5.1 points per game
Anthony Myles, Senior, Guard, 12.4 points per game
Daniel Stewart, Senior, Forward, 10.6 points per game
Junior Fortunat, Junior, Center, 4.7 points per game

By the Numbers:
Scoring Offense: 63.7 (265th in nation, 5th in conference)
Scoring Defense: 63.2 (84, 3)
Field-Goal Percentage: 43.2 (181, 3)
Field-Goal Defense: 40.6 (74, 3)
Three-Point Field Goals Per Game: 6.1 (168, 5)  
Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: 34.5 (138, 4)
Free-Throw Percentage: 67.8 (222, 6)
Rebound Margin: 0.1 (167, 4)
Assists Per Game: 10.1 (322, 10)
Turnovers Per Game: 15.4 (317, 9)


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