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Wisconsin basketball: Rider Broncs 2019-20 preview

The veteran Broncs should be a top-four team in the MAAC. Will they pose a challenge to the Badgers?

NCAA Basketball: Rider at West Virginia Ben Queen-USA TODAY Sports


Nickname: Broncs

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).

NCAA Basketball: Rider at West Virginia Ben Queen-USA TODAY Sports

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