It's always tough to garner something from a pre-season game. The team may look rusty, they aren't in their rhythm, and the team you play is never very good. That often leads to one or two players trying to build up stats, as the coach tries to make them play as a team.
But this was an interesting game for Rutgers. It appeared that the ball movement that was absent a lot of last year showed up, but the rewards weren't there. The famous trio of Rutgers guards constantly fed Derrick Randall, Wally Judge, Kadeem Jack, and Austin Johnson in good position, but like what happened a lot with Gilvydas Biruta last year, the big men shied away from contact and missed a ton of dunks and lay-ups (though Jerry Carino says Judge looked great in a scrimmage against Harvard).
Meanwhile, those same guards did what they do. Eli Carter and Jerome Seagears were hot in the first half and both scored in double digits. What was impressive was-again-the ball movement. There were very few bad shots. The threes were open threes and they took what came to them. Carter and Seagears helped Rutgers build a 21 point lead at halftime.
And then something interesting happened.
They came out asleep and Holy Family was able to get the lead down to 11. Rutgers went through an offensive drought. They refused to find Carter and kept blowing the chippees. It was about that point that Myles Mack woke up. Mack hit a wide open 3 for his first points of the game, and then decided to turn it on. He forced a ton of steals and turned them into lay-ups. Mack finished with 17.
Overall, you can't take much from this game. The plays were there, but the shots didn't go down. The team is still learning to draw the foul and make the bucket. But the talent and the Big East look is there. We'll find out more against St. Peter's on Friday.
-Dane Miller was a leader on the court. At one point, Vince Garrett missed a tomahawk dunk on a breakaway and Rice told Dane to talk to him. Dane nodded and got right over to Garrett.... Rice didn't have to say a word to the new SF.
-Rutgers pressed a lot. Holy Family was small, and sometimes it hurt the Knights, but in the postgame, Rice said he wanted to make sure the team knew to push the tempo.
-Rice felt the team didn't show off their muscles and were still soft. He did feel, though, that it would come. The relentlessness wasn't there yet. But he still seemed optimistic.
-Greg Lewis has a bruised knee and is going to redshirt. The redshirt isn't considered medical however. Rice wants to make sure he's ready to go next year and will be a mature player on the team.
-Hope all our readers out there are safe after Sandy and getting power back soon.