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Mike Rice on Wisconsin radio

Linked above is a Rice interview from last Friday with an ESPN Radio affiliate in Madison. Rice was an assistant for several years at Marquette in the nineties. The interview touches on that (long-time RU BB fans will cringe at one of his references), the NCAA tournament, and the Big East, not really touching on anything too specific to Rutgers basketball for the most part. Still, it's worth a listen if you're looking for more basketball content before tonight's championship game. It won't be long now before everyone starts with their predictions for 2011-2012.

Rutgers Head Coach Mike Rice interview with Mike Francesa today

Rice went on Francesa's show today to discuss the stunning upset over Villanova last night.

Echenique Talks about Leaving Rutgers

Adam Zagoria caught up with former Rutgers forward Gregory Echenique as he prepares to suit up for Creighton.. Echenique transferred from RU after an eye injury last December. While talking to Zagoria, Echenique offered this interesting tidbit: "Maybe if I would’ve been there and decided to leave at the end [of the year], maybe I would’ve waited or seen who was gonna come in," he said. "The way my situation was, I had no chance to see who was coming in." In other news, Steve Politi offered some insight into Mike Rice's coaching: "We needed positive things to happen to Rutgers basketball," he said. "We needed to do something to change the direction and perception of where this program was going. It had been a long time since there had been a wave of good feeling about Rutgers basketball, and (recruiting) was the earliest thing that we could control." And finally, Jerry Carino talks about Austin Johnson's role on the team this year: "Because of the hand we're dealt and the lack of experienced big men, Austin has to play bigger and stronger than maybe he's ready for," Rice explained. "When he doesn't do everything he can in a drill, it will come back to haunt him with the talent level we're going to face this year in the Big East."

East Coast Bias Continues the Big East Preview

East Coast Bias continues their blogging round table today. Rumor has it, they'll update their site several times, so check back here for more links. First: Preview of the Starting Fives around the league. Second: What's changed for your team?

Jerry Carino Visits Practice and More

He notes that Hamady N'Diaye made the Wizards squad. Then there was this troublesome bit of info: "Energy and effort was high, as always, but the execution isn’t there. A five-on-zero fast break drill yielded way more misses than makes (at one point the players missed eight straight uncontested shots ranging from layups to short jumpers)" Meanwhile, Mike Vorkunov talks more about Rice and the punching bag. UPDATE: Adam Zagoria has video of James Beatty and Jonathan Mitchell.

Is Greg Lewis Closer to Choosing Rutgers?

Center Greg Lewis took a visit to Rutgers last weekend and came away impressed. Some reports say the visit went well. Even other reports say that Lewis has narrowed his choices to either Rutgers and USF are his final two. Either way, it appears Lewis' father is impressed with Rice and Co. "The one thing I was impressed with was Mike Rice," Lewis Sr. said. "I think his sense of humor and his honesty especially stood out to me. And that allowed me to feel comfortable. … From a parent’s perspective, the location is just two-and-a-half hours away from home, close enough but not [so close where you can] come home when you hit that wall as a freshman. Most important is the opportunity that was presented to Greg to play as a freshman. I think that’s crucial when it comes to his development." More news as it comes.

Skinner A Coaching Candidate at Hofstra

Says the New York Post. I thought Rutgers passing up Skinner in favor of Mike Rice was a little crazy, but how could the Pride pass?

Media reporting Rutgers to hire Mike Rice Jr.

After being heavily rumored for days, the story was first broke an hour ago by the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. This is being confirmed by Chris Carlin, Jerry Carino, Tara Sullivan, and Adam Zagoria among others. The PPG report says that Robert Morris Associate H.C. Andrew Toole, a Red Bank native formerly with The Hoop Group in New Jersey, is considered a top candidate to replace Rice at Morris. Perhaps that could leave an opening to retain a current assistant. Phil Martelli's son is also on staff. Chris Dokish has speculated that Rice may bring in Pitt's video coordinator Rasheen Davis (a Bronx native) on staff. (Update: Carino has other names.) Rutgers is taking on quite an awful risk with Rice, who could be the next big thing, or blow up spectacularly in their faces just like Hill did. The pressure will be on the new staff immediately to make up ground with key class of 2011 junior recruits like Tyrone Johnson, Myles Davis, and Myles Mack, as recruiting is (once again) believed to be a strength of the incoming coaches. The status of one-time Hill signee Andrew "Red" Nicholas (York, PA) is yet to be determined. There should be plenty of available playing time to go around for any signees.

Behind the scenes video of the Blazers broadcasting team chilling on the plane

Features MB disappointed to find out that Mike Rice has more fans than him on Facebook, Rebecca Haarlow goofing off for the camera, and a cameo by Travis Outlaw making his hate for Mike Rice public! The video is courtesy of John Lukrofka, who does the all the video work (instant replays and such) for the broadcast team.

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