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Jonathan Mitchell on the Big East Weekly Honor Roll

Mitchell shot 56.7 percent (17-30) from the field and 57.1 percent (4-7) from behind the arc for the week. He had 16 points and seven rebounds at Monmouth. The 23-point win over the Hawks marked the largest margin of victory for Rutgers on the road since an 81-56 win at La Salle on Dec. 5, 2001. Versus Fairleigh Dickinson, Mitchell shot 10-of-15 to score 22 points with six rebounds. --From Scarlet Knights.com. For the full article, click the headline.

Rutgers men's basketball only hitting 56% of free throws

I was curious about this, so I looked up the national rankings on kenpom. Of 345 DI basketball programs, Rutgers ranks in all the way down at 332nd. After losing to Princeton by 5 and St. Joe's by 6, would Rutgers be undefeated right now if that one little nasty reminder of Fred Hill's tenure was not still lingering? I hope that isn't a nagging issue all year, because if it is it is going to cost the team more close games. By the way, another fun stat is to use StatSheet's referee tracker.

Hey! We didn't lose to Siena this time!

One of the extremely bad signs going into last year's basketball season was that Siena supposedly pounded Rutgers in a preseason. scrimmage. No official statistics have been released, but it doesn't look like that was the case this season. Removing Fran McCaffery and adding Mike Rice into the equation made a world of difference. Rice was one of several area coaches on Mike Francesa's WFAN show this afternoon. This interview with Kadeem Jack is worth reading too. Update: it turns out Siena is in hot water because of this story.

Greg Lewis commits to Rutgers

Baltimore center/forward Greg Lewis committed to Rutgers today, becoming the seventh (and presumably, final) member of the team's 2011 recruiting class. Lewis had several decent major offers, which is right up there for the most part with the rest of the class. There aren't any blue chippers, but all seven commits have a chance to develop into solid Big East players. Seven is a large number of commits to take for one class, even taking into account how RU's decimated roster should offer plenty of early playing time. Assuming all seven players sign letters of intent, the team's scholarship breakdown now looks like this: 2011: James Beatty, Mike Coburn, Robert Lumpkins, Jonathan Mitchell 2012: Tyree Graham (probable redshirt) 2013: Dane Miller, Austin Johnson 2014: Gil Biruta, Mike Poole, Austin Carroll With six returning players, seven incoming recruits (Lewis, Mike Taylor, Myles Mack, Jerome Seagears, Kareem Jack, Malick Kone, and Derrick Randall) will get Rutgers right up to the 13-scholarship limit. Rutgers already has one 2012 verbal commitment from forward Jordan Goodman. If Tyree Graham ends up redshirting, then the team will need to create at least one scholarship for Goodman, much less the possibility of adding additional players.

Rice Graduate Shooting to Become Rutgers Basketball Star

The Uptowner has a good look today at Rutgers basketball commit Kadeem Jack.

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.

Rutgers Basketball: East Coast Bias Round Table

The St. John's Blog, East Coast Bias, asked On the Banks to participate in a round table of preseason basketball predictions. Click the link above to read some Big East Projections, and find out what's going to be the hardest thing to predict about the conference.

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.

Mike Taylor commits to Rutgers

Make it six. Brooklyn guard Mike Taylor has confirmed the open secret that he is going to play basketball for Mike Rice at Rutgers University. For as good as assistant David Cox has been on the recruiting trail in D.C., Van Macon has been as effective in New York City. The story broke yesterday during yesterday's UNC game. It makes sense that Taylor would give a verbal while in attendance, but the story was mostly ignored yesterday with the football game in progress. Rutgers now has two big men commits for 2011 in Derrick Randall and Kadeem Jack, a raw wing in Malick Kone, the sharpshooter Taylor, and two potential point guards in Myles Mack (who's been described as more of a hybrid) and Jerome Seagears. Jack is the closest of the group to a blue-chipper, but all profile as Big East-caliber players. With six in the fold already, it's unclear whether or not Rutgers will sign any more players for 2011. Now it's up to Rice and the coaching staff to develop these guys, and put them in a position to win. It won't happen overnight. I think back to Jay Wright's early classes, which were more highly-ranked, and still went through growing pains of their own. If Mike Rice is even an average coach though, this class is good enough to eventually get Rutgers back to the NCAA Tournament in a couple years.

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