Myles Mack lost two teeth in practice, but still played Saturday afternoon.
Good thing he did, because he scored 21 points, dished out 8 assists to go with 5 steals and 4 rebounds. That's a big deal. Mack's impact was felt all over the court, as he and Kadeem Jack (18 points) willed Rutgers to a 17 point win.
Kadeem Jack put an exclamation point on the win with a huge tomahawk dunk off a fast break. He also dished out a wonderful bounce pass that lead to a lay-up on another fast break that he lead down the court. Rutgers did what it had to do against a UNC-Greensboro team that is not very good.
Of course, the game was not all wine and roses for the Scarlet Knights as some of the defensive warts continued to show up. The Spartans whittled a 23 point deficit down to 9 in the second half and it looked like they were going to keep pushing. Jack, however, was able to score 4 points for Rutgers in that stretch to settled the crew down.
Needless to say, with a week off and only 1 non-conference game left, Rutgers needed this one. And they got it.
But the news didn't stop there for Rutgers. Eddie Jordan was able to land one of the most coveted transfers on the market. Matt Hladik announced Rutgers convinced former Georgetown forward Greg Whittington to commit to Rutgers. Whittington was dismissed from Georgetown after academic issues haunted him and he suffered an ACL tear. So, he does come with baggage.
That said, if Whittington puts his mind to it, he has the potential to be a game changer. He was once viewed as the possible replacement for Otto Porter and averaged 12 points and 7 rebounds when he played for the Hoyas. Whittington has length, and can be a force on both ends of the court, something Rutgers desperately needs.
Jordan is putting together an interesting team as he heads toward the Big Ten. If, somehow, he can find a way to get these team to fire on all cylinders somewhere later this year, it could bode well for the future.
The talent is, and will be, there. Now they just have to put it together.
Maybe a commitment and a win is a start to finding that stride. And we'll be looking back at Myles Mack's teeth as the catalyst.