Fred Hill, less than a month ago:
Hill truly believes the Scarlet Knights can be -- and will be -- NCAA Tournament-bound in 2011."He's not going to be around to enjoy what we're going to be able to do," Hill said of Ndiaye, a senior, "and that's be an upper-echelon, upper half team in the Big East next year and go to the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 1991."
Fred Hill, several days ago:
"All I've ever done is look at, How do we move the program forward? Where we’re going,’ and I like what I see,’’ Hill said. "We're losing one guy. I love (Ndiaye) to death, but he's the only guy we're losing. We’re bringing everyone else back.’’
"When you look at that, that’s a deep, experienced, talented team, and you expect to make those jumps …a South Florida type of jump.’’
South Florida improved from 4-14 to 9-9 in conference play this year. However, with a RPI in the mid 60s, and a poor OOC strength of schedule, they will in all likelihood be headed to the NIT barring a miracle run in the Big East Tournament. I understand why he's still striking a positive tone, but that doesn't make his comments any less infuriating.
So essentially, Fred Hill was promising a tourney run next year before, and now he's already lowering expectations to mediocrity and the NIT. In that case, what's the point? What's so infuriating to me is that Rutgers already has a better roster than South Florida. Rutgers could easily be 9-9 in the Big East if, say, Bobby Gonzalez was their coach. Now the recruits are wising up, and no longer signing on to stunt their development, so things are probably only going to get worse going forward.
If you read the rest of that ScarletReport article, even that run is based on the assumption that Rutgers will bring in two big men this year (presumably, at least one a Junior College transfer). That's by no means a given, nor is it that any incoming players, or any of the youngsters currently on the roster, improve and contribute meaningful minutes. Just in case anyone had forgotten at this point, Hill's roster will have a gigantic hole up front next year because of Greg Echenique's transfer. Oh, and this analysis completely overlooks the fact that they don't have a point guard of the future ready to take over after Beatty graduates, and presumes no further transfers.
At least we're not UConn.