Villanova has dominated the all-time series against Rider, having won 23 times to just 1 loss (the lone defeat coming in 1942 when the Wildcats fell 42-27 on the road). The last time these two teams met was in 2006 when Villanova romped to victory, 108-61.
The Broncs had had an up-and-down start to their season, posting a 5-4 record to date. They'v won three games on the bounce, including two in-conference wins over Monmouth and Quinnipiac to start the MAAC season with a perfect 2-0 record.
The primary scorer for Rider is senior guard Anthony Myles, who is posting an impressive 18.7/4.6/1.6 line to open the season. Myles is very much a feast or famine type of player, and he's prone to turning the ball over, doing so 2.7 times per game on average so far in 2013.
The Broncs are far from a one-man team though, as three other players are averaging double-digits through 9 games - with the team averaging over 80 points per game. Senior forward Daniel Stewart is second on the team in scoring at 16.9 ppg, and leads the team in rebounding at 6.0 rpg. Freshman guard Jimmie Taylor and sophomore guard Zedric Saddler round out the offense at 12.7 and 11.0 ppg, respectively.
Perhaps most concerning to Jay Wright is the Broncs' ability to stroke it from beyond the arc. The team collectively shoots 44.9% from downtown, with Taylor shooting a staggering 61.9% so far this year. Stewart and Khali Alford both hover around 50% as well.
Villanova will have more talent than the Broncs' on Saturday afternoon, but with finals week wrapping up and Syracuse on the horizon, they can't afford to be caught napping.
Kevin Baggett is in his second year at the helm of the Broncs' bench. In his rookie campaign, he guided Rider to a 19-win season and a second place finish in the MAAC (after being selected to finish 6th). That work led him to be a finalist for two different National Coach of the Year Awards, the Ben Jobe Award and the Joe B. Hall Award.
Prior to being elevated to the Head postion, Baggett spent 6 years as an assistant at Rider. Prior to his move to Lawrenceville, the South Jersey native was an assistant at the University of Maryland- Baltimore County and also spent time at James Madison, Howard, Western Kentucky and Coastal Carolina.
In his playing days, Coach Baggett played at St. Joseph's (PA) and graduated in 1989. He won once in 4 tries against the Wildcats.
If you're a Rider Alumn and looking for connections in the realm African relationships with the United Nations or Convenience Stores you're in luck. You will be able to network with the Liberian ambassador to the UN, Milton Nathaniel Barnes, and Howard Stoeckel, CEO of Wawa who are both alumns of the Lawrenceville, NJ university.
You, yourself, and Fox Sports 1.