Conference: Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference
Location: Lawrenceville, New Jersey
Head coach: Kevin Baggett, seven years at Rider
2018-19 record: 16-15 (11-7 MAAC)
Last time in NCAA Tournament: 1994, lost in first round to UConn
Top three returning scorers: Stevie Jordan, senior, guard, 12.6 ppg; Tyere Marshall, senior, center, 10.8 ppg; Frederick Scott, junior, forward, 12.1 ppg
Key loss: Anthony Durham, guard, 9.4 ppg, 3.7 rpg, shot 77 percent from the charity stripe (best on team)
Exciting newcomer: Willy Nunez, grad transfer from FIU, 9.3 ppg, 2.3 rpg, 33.8 3-point FG% last season for the Panthers
Date of game: Tuesday, Dec. 31st, 6 p.m. CT, BTN
Location: Kohl Center, Madison, Wisconsin
Preview: Rider finished in a three-way tie for second place in the MAAC last season but lost in the quarterfinals of the conference tournament which, due to their barely above .500 record, did not qualify them for any postseason tournament.
This year, the Broncs return a veteran-heavy lineup featuring four starters from last year’s team and potential impact grad transfer from FIU. Junior forward Dimencio Vaughn was first-team all-conference two seasons ago and is predicted to do so again by both Athlon and Lindy’s. He averaged 10.6 ppg last year (16.1 two years ago) and 5.2 rpg (6.7 two years ago).
The consensus for this team seems to be another top-four finish in the MAAC with the potential to make some noise in the conference tournament. Iona is the class of the MAAC and everyone is still looking up to them, but if a few things break right for Rider they could get back to the NCAA Tournament for the first time since the mid-90s.
Prediction: Badgers win 82-69