Dear Basketball Gods,
This is it, isn't it? This is rock bottom, right? It can only go up from here. Please.
For years, I've followed Rutgers basketball. Longer than some, not as long as others, but I've followed them. I've given them my rapt attention, discussed them through articles, message board posts, podcasts, and in interviews with columnists. I've bought season tickets, sweatshirts and hats. I've jumped up and down in the stands after a big run, and walked out of the RAC deflated after heartbreaking losses.
But this was supposed to be different. The old hero at Rutgers--Eddie Jordan--coming back to the banks and bringing with him an offense that is complex, disciplined and fun to watch. He was supposed to take a talented team of misfits, transfers and blue chippers and at least make them competitive and fun to watch. This not an untalented team. Wally Judge, Kadeem Jack, Myles Mack, Jerome Seagears and J.J. Moore. These were sought after recruits. They should be fun to watch.
Instead, we get to watch William and Mary--the Tribe--a team that was 1-3 and should have been a walk for this Scarlet Knights team rip off a 20-0 run to start the second half.
Yes, Rutgers was coming off a depressing loss to Drexel. Yes, because of injuries and a suspension, they were down to 8 players. But come on, this is a team Rutgers was supposed to get healthy against. There's no excuse.
For three years now, we've seen two different coaches lament that the team did not trust the plan, did not trust the coaches, and did not trust the system. When you have a team that tries to play hero ball instead of listening to a former NBA Coach, there are problems. The team looks worn out and tired, six games in. They are 3-3, and it's only November, but this loss--maybe more than any other in the past few years--this loss hurt.
So, can you help out a little here, Basketball Gods? I've paid my dues. I've suffered, and yes, I'm being selfish, but I'm a fan. Maybe you can lend a little extra inspiration to this team. Maybe Eddie can find the right words and use this game as a teachable moment. Maybe now the team can buy-in. And then build some confidence.
Maybe Junior Etou can help. And Craig Brown can recover. And even Kerwin Okoro can come back and be a breath of fresh air in a few weeks.
Because it is only November. And it is a new era. But, come on, Basketball Gods, we Rutgers fans have suffered enough. Can't there be a light at the end of the tunnel? An NCAA Tournament appearance sooner rather than later? I mean, it's been 23 years. One appearance sometime in the next 2 or 3 years isn't too much to ask for. You could leave Duke out, no one would mind.
Am I asking for too much? Can't you throw us a bone?
Because Rutgers has Stillman College and FDU coming up this week, and then there's some time off. They need to be 5-3 by Thanksgiving.
This is rock bottom, right, Basketball Gods?
It can only go up from here.
A Rutgers fan