Nurideen Lindsey

Rider guard Nurideen Lindsey declared eligible by NCAA

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Philadelphia native Nurideen Lindsey played just nine games at St. John’s last season before determining that the Queens school wasn’t the right fit for him.

From there the process meandered a bit as it was originally thought that he’d transfer to Arkansas before ultimately landing at Rider, which is just a short trek from his hometown.

The fact that Lindsey played in nine games for the Red Storm led many to believe that he would have to sit until the end of the fall semester, but the junior received the news he was hoping for on Friday afternoon.

In those nine games Lindsey averaged 11.9 points, 4.9 rebounds and 2.9 assists per game, and as a freshman season he averaged 22.3 points, 5.5 rebounds and 5.1 assists at Redlands Community College.

With the Broncs losing three of their top four scorers from last season (guard Jeff Jones and forwards Brandon Penn and Novar Gadson), this was welcome news for new head coach Kevin Baggett.

“I am happy that the NCAA has granted NurideenLindsey eligibility to be able to play at the beginning of the season,” said Baggett in the school release.

“Having Nurideen at the start of the season with his experience should help us to be able to compete with our tough non conference schedule.”

Lindsey, who enrolled in classes at Rider at the start of the spring semester, joins a group led by one of the best front court players in the MAAC in junior Danny Stewart (11.1 ppg, 6.6 rpg) and guards Anthony Myles (10.1 ppg) and Jonathon Thompson (8.1 ppg).

But does Lindsey’s eligibility vault Rider into the upper echelon of the MAAC? While it certainly will help, one must not ignore the talent that other expected contenders bring to the table in 2012-13.

Reigning conference tournament champion Loyola (MD) enters its farewell tour (the Greyhounds are off the the Patriot League in 2013) with three of its five starters from last season back on campus, and they have enough depth/experience to account for the transfer of 6th man Justin Drummond.

There’s also Steve Masiello’s bunch at Manhattan, a group that went ten deep last season and pulled off one of the best turnarounds in college basketball (15-win improvement from 2010-11), and Fairfield should be heard from as well with guards Derek Needham (now healthy) and Desmond Wade back.

With young teams such as Niagara (MAAC Rookie of the Year Juan’Ya Green leads Joe Mihalich’s squad) and Siena a year older and the talented wild card that is Iona (nine newcomers join Momo Jones, Sean Armand and Taaj Ridley), the MAAC is going to be a fun race to keep track of.

But the addition of Lindsey makes it even more likely that Rider has some say in who grabs the automatic bid to the NCAA tournament.

Raphielle is also the assistant editor at and can be followed on Twitter at @raphiellej.

Kennesaw State blows eight-point lead in 16 seconds, loses to Elon

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Kennesaw State entered Monday night at 1-6 on the season, but with 19 seconds left, it looked like the Owls have their second of the season locked up. Kendrick Ray made a pair of free throws with 19 seconds left to put KSU up 89-81, and all they had to do was avoid a complete meltdown to get out with a win.

They couldn’t.

A Luke Eddy layup with 16 seconds left cut the lead to six, and after KSU’s Nigel Pruitt missed two free throws, Dainan Swoope his a three with seven seconds left to make the score 89-86.

On the ensuing inbounds, Kennesaw State threw the ball away … and then proceeded to foul Eddy when he was shooting a three. This is what that disaster looked like:

Eddy would hit all three threes before, shockingly, KSU turned the ball over again. Elon could not capitalize this time, sending the game to overtime, where the Phoenix outscored the Owls 14-4.

Elon won 104-94.

Here’s what the comeback looked like on the play-by-play:

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Rick Pitino: Louisville ‘just ignored’ in top 25 due of scandal

Rick Pitino
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Louisville beatdown Saint Louis at the Barclays Center on Sunday night, a 77-57 win that was much closer at halftime than the final score might indicate.

The win moved the Cardinals to 5-0 on the season, and that, in turn, got Louisville into the back end of both top 25 polls.

They’re 24th in the AP Poll and 22nd in the Coaches Poll, but that happened on Monday morning. On Sunday night, Pitino made sure to get a rant in about how this team is viewed and why pundits and voters should overlook the scandal currently plaguing his program.

“I think people are looking at that and they’re not really studying the team,” he said, according to the Louisville Courier-Journal, adding that he thinks the team is “just ignored” because of the accusations leveled by self-described madam Katina Powell in the book she published back in October.

And here’s the thing: he is 100 percent correct. Louisville was overlooked in the preseason because the scandal, when combined with the fact that the Cardinals are integrating so many new pieces into their rotation, made it tough to see how they would be able to compete at a level that we’ve come to expect out of Louisville teams.

I know that because it’s why my colleagues at, against my wishes, refused to allow me to rank Louisville in the preseason top 25. In other words, I’ve had first-hand interactions with the haters. But if we’re going to be honest here, scandal or no scandal, Louisville probably wasn’t going to find their way into the preseason top 25, not when they had to replace Terry Rozier and Montrezl Harrell.

And scandal or no scandal, no team from outside the top 25 is going to play their way into the top 25 by beating the likes of North Florida and St. Francis (NY) without some shenanigans — like Fred VanVleet getting hurt, like Indiana collapsing, like Arizona and Cal and Notre Dame playing their way out of the top 20 — happening around the country.

So Pitino is right: the scandal probably did have an impact on how his team was viewed in the preseason.

But Pitino the scandal isn’t what kept them out of the top 25 until Monday.

That weak non-conference schedule and roster turnover was why.

And if we’re going to be honest here, it probably should have kept them out for another week.