Rider (2-2) at SMU (4-0)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Wednesday, November 21, 8:30 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Moody Coliseum (8,000) -- Dallas, Texas. Television: None. Home Record: Rider 2-1, SMU 2-0. Away Record: Rider 0-1, SMU 2-0. Neutral Record: Rider 0-0, SMU 0-0. Conference Record: Rider 0-0, SMU 0-0. Series Record: First-ever meeting.
GAME NOTES: The Rider Broncs will try to take down a legend when they face off with the SMU Mustangs at Moody Coliseum as part of the Hoops for Hope Classic.
Rider suffered an 88-76 loss to the Frank Martin led South Carolina Gamecocks in its first installment of the Hoops for Hope Classic. The setback dropped the Broncs' record down to 2-2. They opened up the season with an impressive 79-54 win over Robert Morris before being taken down by Stony Brook in a game that started at six in the morning. Coach Kevin Baggett and his troops regrouped and took down Monmouth by three points their next time out. Baggett is in his first year as a head coach after serving as the associate head coach on Rider's staff last season. Luckily for the Broncs' new general, the team added a high-profile St. John's transfer in Nurideen Lindsey into the fold over the offseason.
As for SMU, it is off to a 4-0 start under Hall of Fame head coach Larry Brown. The Mustangs opened up their season with a 73-58 victory over Loyola Marymount at home before a pair of three-point road wins over TCU and Texas State. Then the team returned home to complete an 81-47 rout of Division II Malone University on Monday. SMU held Malone to just 23.2 percent shooting while converting 30-of-52 field goals on the offensive end. The Mustangs' 4-0 start is the first for the program since the 2000-2001 season.
This will be the first time these programs square off on the hardwood.
Despite the loss, the Broncs were efficient on the offensive end their last time out. They shot 50.9 percent from the floor including 6-of-14 from three- point range. Rider also managed to net 16-of-21 at the charity stripe. However, it was not able to stop South Carolina from making 32-of-60 field goal attempts, including 13-three pointers. The Broncs were also been in the rebounding battle by a margin of 10 boards. Lindsey continued his impressive start with the program versus the Gamecocks with 26 points and three steals. He is averaging a team-best 19.0 ppg. Anthony Myles is second on the team with 11.0 ppg, while Jonathon Thompson is averaging a team-best 3.8 assists per contest. Daniel Stewart is the team's most productive big man with 10.3 points and 7.3 rebounds per contest.
The Mustangs have a star of their own in sophomore Jalen Jones. The 6-6 combo guard has scored 20 points or more in each of his last three games. Jones also has an active streak of five straight games with 10 points or more. The Dallas native is also the team's leader in rebounds (8.0) and blocks (1.7). Brown has a few other capable scorers in Nick Russell and Ryan Manuel as well. Russell, who is a transfer from Kansas State, is playing his first season for SMU after sitting out last season. Although he scored just nine points versus Malone, he has scored 18.7 points per game on 46.5 percent shooting from the field. Sophomore Ryan Manuel is chipping in 14.3 points and 3.5 assists per game.
Although he is one of the most accomplished coaches in the history of the game, Brown will have a tough time finding someone on his roster to stop Lindsey. The Broncs have built solid chemistry and they will be out to prove themselves on both ends of the floor after being picked apart by South Carolina.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Rider 75, SMU 71
11/21 10:33:55 ET