If there's anything Rutgers fans can take from the end of this season-heading into the AAC Tournament-is progress. A team that looked lost on the court at times this season finally put it all together for the final 3 game stretch.
Unfortunately, that wasn't enough.
Rutgers twice battled back from deficits of 8 or more against the #15 Bearcats and even had the lead with 1:47 left in the game. But Sean Kilpatrick and Justin Jackson were better than anything Rutgers had on the court. With less than a minute remaining, and Rutgers down 2, Kilpatrick held the ball at midcourt. He blew by Jerome Seagears and got to the hoop unimpeded.
Rutgers got very good offensive games from J.J. Moore (19 points)--who drove the lane, got to the free throw line and didn't just settle for jumpers--and Kadeem Jack (15 points)--who continues to develop into a go to player. Kerwin Okoro got an extended run as well. Rutgers grinded during this game, getting stops when they needed and for the most part ran the offense and shared the ball. But when a the eventual conference champion (on a coin flip, no less) was better than you, not much can be done.
After the game, Eddie Jordan's press conference turned into a "state of the program" address. Jordan feels the development of the team is right on target, and while he wishes he found more wins, he's happy with how the team has learned.
Now Rutgers looks toward the AAC Tournament where they will face the South Florida Bulls for the 3rd time this season. Rutgers swept the Bulls in the regular season.
Sweeping a team?
And this team has at least one more game to continue its development.