lindsey

Rider guard Nurideen Lindsey to pursue professional opportunities

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(CLICK HERE to follow along with who is turning pro and who is returning to school.)

When he surprisingly transferred from St. John’s after just nine games during the 2011-12 season, guard Nurideen Lindsey cited the desire to be closer to his native Philadelphia in order to tend to his ill mother.

With that in mind Lindsey, who began his collegiate career at Redlands Community College in Oklahoma, chose to join the program at Rider. Lindsey received a waiver from the NCAA to play at the start of this season instead of having to wait until the end of the fall semester and he was a valuable asset for first-year head coach Kevin Baggett.

Lindsey averaged 8.0 points and 2.8 rebounds per contest for Rider, which finished the season with a 19-15 record (12-6 MAAC). With those numbers an early departure to embark on a professional career may not be seen as the best move by many.

But with his mother still dealing with health issues, Lindsey has decided to take that path as reported by Ryan Restivo of NY Buckets. In an interview with Restivo, Baggett noted the family hardship as the motivating factor behind Lindsey’s decision to pursue professional opportunities.

“He’s in a hardship situation where he’s wanting to support his family,” Baggett said. “This was a thing that he wanted to do from day one. This was something that he had wanted to come and try and have a great year so he could try and turn professional to be able to support his family.”

“That still is his ultimate goal. It’s not because he doesn’t want to be here, it’s more just from his standpoint trying to support his mom [who] has been very sick and that’s why he got cleared to play this year.”

In addition to Lindsey the Broncs lose leading scorer Jonathon Thompson (13.1 ppg) and forward Dera Nd-Ezuma. But with players such as guard Anthony Myles and forward Daniel Stewart returning Rider will have the talent needed to be a factor in the MAAC next season.

Lindsey’s return likely would have placed Rider among the preseason favorites to win the league (Manhattan and Iona being two of those teams). But given the circumstances that led to his decision, it’s difficult to blame him for leaving.

Photo credit: Peter G. Borg/Rider University

Raphielle also writes for the NBE Basketball Report and can be followed on Twitter at @raphiellej.

Akron reveals special bobble heads for LeBron, high school teammates

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When it comes to discussing some of the game of basketball’s best players, specifically those who went directly from high school to the NBA, a question that’s often asked is where said player would have attended college if forced (by rule) to do so. Kevin Garnett, Kobe Bryant and LeBron James are among those who have been discussed in this manner, and in the case of LeBron he’s got connections to two programs within his home state of Ohio.

LeBron’s connected with the Ohio State program, which is outfitted by the Nike’s LeBron signature line, but there’s another program with an even closer connection. That would be Akron, which is led by head coach Keith Dambrot, and all he did was serve as LeBron’s high school coach at St. Vincent/St. Mary’s HS in Akron during the player’s freshman and sophomore years at the school. Also on those teams were two future Akron Zips in guard Dru Joyce and forward Romeo Travis.

Thursday the school announced that it would be honoring James, Joyce and Travis with bobble head dolls to be given out before Akron’s home games against Buffalo (February 16; Joyce’s bobble head), Bowling Green (February 26; Travis) and Ohio (March 1; James).

All three bobble head dolls are wearing Akron uniforms, which in the case of LeBron allows fans to think back and imagine what could have been. Season ticket holders guaranteed one bobble head per account (on each of the three giveaway days), with the first 750 fans in attendance to receive one as well.

NEW PODCAST: Indiana, Cal, troublesome trends and a weekend preview

California's Jabari Bird celebrates a score against Oregon in the first half of an NCAA college basketball game Thursday, Feb. 11, 2016, in Berkeley, Calif. (AP Photo/Ben Margot)
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The gang is back together again for another episode of the NBCSports.com College Basketball Talk Podcast, with Rob Dauster hosting and Raphielle Johnson and Scott Phillips joining him. Today’s episode touched on big wins picked up Thursday night by California and Indiana, discussing the performances of those teams and also touching on their prospects down the line.

Also discussed were the recent performances of Iowa State, Providence and Texas A&M (which are you more worried about?), and some of the top games on this weekend’s schedule headlined by Kansas visiting Oklahoma. And if you’re a fan of seafood, you may take umbrage with some of Rob’s comments at the beginning of the podcast.

As always, you can subscribe to the podcast on either iTunes or Stitcher, and there’s also a link to listen to this podcast below. Thanks for listening.