In what will be the theme of the entire year, this is what happens when you have a young team. Not just 6 freshman, but mainly no seniors. This game was a see-saw affair for Rutgers. At one point, Rutgers looked like a Fred Hill team of old falling behind by 17 points, turning the ball over, and missing free throws. The next they looked like world beaters, rallying to within 6 points on a fast paced run
Rutgers wasn't able to get over the hump tonight, and there were multiple errors.
More after the jump...On the bright side was Austin Carroll. He crossed double digits in points this game, hitting 3-three pointers and finishing with 11 points and leading the team in scoring. Carroll and Mike Poole were sparks, trying desperately to keep Rutgers in the game. If Carroll keeps playing the way he played tonight, he's going to find himself on the floor a lot. Smart ball movement, let the game come to him, and hit some tough shots. Unfortunately, a comeback was not to be.
There were two big culprits when looking for reasons that RU lost. Turnovers that lead to points and missed Free Throws. Rutgers turned the ball over 9 times in the first half alone, and in the first half, that lead to 14 points. Meanwhile, Rutgers went 0-6 from the charity stripe. Leaving points on the floor will kill you, especially on the road.
The freshman were a mixed bag, at times looking very impressive, and at other points, looking lost. Myles Mack crystallized that. At one point, he misplayed a fast break, leading to Miami pushing the lead seemingly out of reach. After the defensive lapse, Coach Mike Rice sat him on the bench. When Mack came back in, it appeared he had fire lit under him, and hit the 3 point shot that pulled the Knights within 6.
Even when Rutgers got stops, they couldn't finish possessions. Balls hitting the court, balls off hands, and no luck whatsoever. Too many times, Rutgers couldn't get the defensive rebound. If you can't end a defensive stop with a rebound, a team gets demoralized. That was clear this evening.
This team is still a work in progress, and they have a lot to learn about tonight. They can put what they learned to the test Thursday night against Sacred Heart.