Iona (101) vs. Rider (110) 02/25/18

#65 of 351  18%

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This arena is an oxymoron. It was very new looking but very small with an capacity of 1650 seats. Usually newness in my experience equals large capacity. The design encourages a loud following from the Rider fans. I had first row seats center court and was thrilled to see a high scoring slug fest.

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I was sitting behind the announcer. When he spoke of a Rider score, his voice became inflated and animated. When he announced an Iona event, the voice was muted. I have to see in the future if this a style unique to him or whether all court side announcers do this. I am also curious whether there was a reason they left the “O” out of the BRONCS nickname. The BRONCS ZOO name for the student section is clever.

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Rider with this win captured first place in the regular season standings for the MAAC. They returned just 5 players from last year and eight players gaining their first experience on the court. They are a well balanced team to watch with a nice mixture of shooters and brawn underneath. Give kudos to coach Kevin Baggett for assembling this team of little experience into a first place club. This is one club that I would be afraid to face as a possible 15-16 seed in March.

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I saw that Shadrac Casimir of Iona was on the roster. When he was a freshman, I saw him light it up back in 2015 against Marist. Here what I posted about him:

IONA had this freshman named Schadrac Casimir. For you CT high school basketball buffs, this is the kid who led Trinity Catholic to the state finals two a years ago and prepped at Kent for a year. He has the face of a cherubic angel standing 5’10″” weighing 155 pounds. He stood in the corner and waited for the ball. When he was passed to, he jacked up a three making 9 of 14 attempts. Up to this game, he was averaging 14.9 ppg.

He missed most of one year to an injury so he is now a junior. He is only averaging 9.9 points a game this year. I think the lack of a true point guard for Iona has hurt him or perhaps the injury has slowed him down. He only had 9 points tonight.

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The player of the game was Iona guard Ricky McGill who had 40 points. He had one of those silent games where you don’t notice him scoring but at the end of the game, you look up and wonder how he got all those points.

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My buddy Kevin took this picture of me in my first row seat. Look for the red circle in the picture and the guy with the mustache.

With this game, I have completed all the schools in New Jersey.  My fourth year of Operation is now complete. I hope that all of you have a great summer. God willing, I will be back for season 5 in November. Now off to the first tee!

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