USA TODAY Sports
Same old, same old.
Otto Porter (or, as ESPNU constantly reminded us, Otto Porter *dramatic pause* JUNIOR) shot 18 free throws. Rutgers, as a team shot 15.
Basically, that's all you need to know right there.
Porter and company did what they had to do (he scored 28) to put Rutgers away down the stretch. They got Rutgers to hand check, they hit clutch shots, and they were able to survive a stupendous defensive effort from the Scarlet Knights. Meanwhile, Wally Judge put up 11 points and played one of his best games of the season.
And, as usual, the same old story played out. Rutgers played a strong first half, took the crowd out of it and dictated the pace. They were down 1 at the buzzer. But missed lay-ups, and miss opportunities really kept this game from being a scare for the Hoyas. Rutgers couldn't capitalize on the chance it had. For the most part, Myles Mack and Kadeem Jack were non-factors thanks to the Hoya D.
Also, the refs liked their whistles.
And so another season peters out, and one can argue the merits of improvement. The win total is going to be lower this year than last, but some players have shown great gains on the floor.
Can this team make the jump next year? They need to go from a 4-14 (maybe 5-13) Big East team to an NCAA team. That's a lot of wins. Making the NIT isn't enough to keep the program rolling. Not with the problems Mike Rice seems to be having on the recruiting trail. It's a big jump to make, and is unlikely to happen.
But that's why they play the games.
Marquette is up next on Tuesday night. Senior night. Say goodbye to Dane Miller and Austin Johnson at the RAC.