I am a 2002 graduate of Rider and former columnist for The Rider News, penning the award-winning “Confessions of a Political Junkie” column from 1999-2002. I am currently writing for a business newspaper in Westchester County, N.Y., where I have to hear often from my co-workers about their heightened interest and expectations for their alma mater’s basketball teams for the upcoming season.
I for one am sick and tired of Rider basketball’s mediocrity in the dozen or so years since we joined the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference. I realize we’ll never be Kansas, Syracuse or North Carolina, but there’s no reason we can’t be a nationally known, competitive mid-major team.
What do the Butlers, George Masons and Drexels of the world have that we don’t? Why do they get top 25 votes and at-large consideration each year? With a pre-season, mid-major All-American [Jason Thompson] I expect, nay, demand 25 wins, an NCAA tournament berth with a decent seeding, and a run in that tournament. I am tired of 16-14 records year after year, and I am tired of mediocrity.
We must collectively demand excellence from our basketball program and see that it happens. If Gonzaga can do it, why can’t we?
— Bryan Yurcan
Class of 2002
The action begins for the men’s basketball team this Saturday, Nov. 10 with an away game at Murray State. The women’s team starts its season at home on Friday, Nov. 9, at 5 p.m. against Monmouth.