Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Guest Contributor Ray Floriani: Report from the Rutgers - Rider Game

by Ray Floriani

PISCATAWAY, NJ - Rutgers scored arguably their best victory of the season, a 70-60 overtime victory over Rider at the RAC. It is almost hard to believe the Scarlet Knights are7-2 given some of the early season struggles, even in victory. Defense was the key tonight:


Defense, after the half was especially noteworthy for Rutgers. Rider led 39-36 at the break and was shooting 45% from the field. They finished 36% for the game and did not score a point (0-9 from the field in the extra session. The Rider offensive breakdown:

Off. Efficiency
 1st Half2nd Half

No fire or brimstone halftime speech by Rutgers' Fred Hill. Just a concerted effort after the break and some effective late game and OT denial of Rider’s Ryan Thompson.

The four factors:


Rutgers coach Fred Hill discussed the rebounding situation as Rider won the boards 48-43 and had an 18-12 offensive edge. Hill wasn’t too concerned but will address rebounding in practice. The Rutgers coach was pleased with the defensive effort especially after the half. Both teams cared very well for the ball with outstanding turnover rates.

Mike Rosario scored 18 points for Rutgers but struggled with a 5 of 17 performance from the field. A big break through was the play of junior guard James Beatty. He led the Scarlet Knights with 21 points and was 7 of 9 from beyond the arc. Hill said Beatty was recruited as a point but had roughly 7 games in junior college where he knocked down 5 or more treys. Simply, if the shot is there Beatty is encouraged to take it. Beatty did a nice job helping out defensively on Rider’s Ryan Thompson.

Hamady Ndiaye started off scoring the first two possessions. Then the 7-0 senior center was substituted by Hill. The Rutgers coach said Ndiaye was ‘gassed’. With Greg Echenique out indefinitely after eye surgery (a resounding success thankfully) Ndiaye will be asked for more minutes. He came back quickly and logged 38 minutes scoring 9 points pulling down 11 boards and rejecting six shots, including two big ones near the end of regulation. “Hamady was tired,” Hill said, “but he’s a warrior.”

Approximately nine NBA scouts ventured to Piscataway to see Ryan Thompson of Rider. The 6-6 senior guard did not disappoint scoring a game high 26 points. Thompson shot 9 of 19 but only two attempts were forced. To a person the scouts echoed how well he has his teammate involved, doesn’t force and lets the game come to him. In the stretch Rutgers paid more attention denying Thompson the ball and face guarding him. “If he (Thompson) catches the ball it’s awfully tough for anyone to stay in front of him,” said Rider mentor Tommy Dempsey. Rider understandably, ran out of gas as the five starters logged between 34-42 minutes on the night. Justin Thompson added 15 points while Mike Ringgold, a 6-7 junior forward, had 12 points and 7 offensive boards for Rider.

“It wasn’t a MAAC game but we really wanted to win this game . We just didn’t do enough offensively and got tired in overtime.” - Rider coach Tommy Dempsey

“At 6-6 he’s a match-up problem. He’s a decent passer, very good off the dribble. He shoots the jumper ok but he can get to the line and the rim. He’s a very good player. “ - Rutgers coach Fred Hill on Rider’s Ryan Thompson.

1 comment:

stan said...

Pretty entertaining game.

A couple of more observations.

1. Rosario struggled because #3 Youngblood did a damned good job of guarding him. Going over screens and just following him and annoying him.
2. Ryan Thompson also has hops. Besides his 8 rebounds and giving away at least 5" to Hamady Ndiaye he had a block on the big guy from behind on an attempted put back by H.
3. One could absolutely see Rider was gassed in the OT period from the moment they came out for the tip. RU had the deeper bench and it showed in OT.
4. Without Beatty, RU would have been in real trouble. The kid did a damned good job.