Are you getting tired of MAACtion?
Teams: Syracuse Orange (2-0, 0-0) vs. Rider Broncs (0-0, 0-0)
Day & Time: Saturday, December 5, 7 p.m. ET
Location: Carrier Dome, Syracuse, N.Y.
Line: Syracuse is getting -20. KenPom predicts an 84-62 win for Syracuse.
Rider Blog: N/A
Rivalry: 1-0, Syracuse
Current Streak: 1, Syracuse
First/Last Meeting: 1950 was the only time these two programs met. Syracuse defeated Rider 72-54 in the Salt City that year. Jack Kiley led all Syracuse scorers that day with 17 points. Back then, the Broncs were known as Rider College instead of Rider University.
Head Coaches: Syracuse – Jim Boeheim (45th year, 1,067-399) | Rider – Kevin Baggett (ninth season, 141-116)
Coach Bio: Baggett played college basketball at Saint Joseph’s from 1985 to 1989. His collegiate coaching career wouldn’t start until 1996 when he joined James Maddison as an assistant coach. Baggett moved to other assistant coaching jobs at Western Kentucky, Howard, Coastal Carolina and UMBC before joining Rider as an assistant in 2006. He became the assistant head coach of the Broncs in 2008 before receiving a promotion to the head coaching position in 2012.
Baggett led the Broncs to 19 wins in his first year in charge and earned Rider’s first-ever victory in a Division I postseason tournament with a win on the road against Hartford in the CollegeInsider.com Postseason Tournament. While the Broncs have yet to win a MAAC title during Baggett’s time as head coach, Rider has finished in the top two of the regular season conference standings four times.
Last Year: Rider finished the 2019-20 season with an 18-12 overall record, going 12-8 in conference play. The Broncs finished tied for third with Monmouth in the MAAC but got the three seed in the conference tournament on tiebreakers. Rider was scheduled to play Syracuse’s latest opponent, Niagara, for its first MAAC tournament game but it would be cancelled due to COVID-19
Last Game: Rider capped off its 2019-20 season with a 71-59 home win on senior night against Manhattan. Senior Tyere Marshall led all scorers with 20 points and added eight rebounds.
“Fear Me, I’ve Killed Hundreds of Timelords”: It’s a really young Rider team, with Christian Ings being the leading returning scorer for the Broncs. The sophomore played in all 30 games for Rider last year, starting 18. He averaged 4.9 points a game.
If Syracuse Wins: Hopefully everyone looks warmed up for Rutgers.
If Syracuse Loses: So who presses the panic button first? Me or you?
Fun Fact: I mentioned that Rider is a young team. What you might not realize is that there are no seniors on the Broncs roster. Rider does have a graduate transfer in Rodney Henderson who joins the Broncs from Cal State Northridge.