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Rutgers Basketball Preview: Season Outlook

You know about the coach.  You know about the recruits.  You even know about the current team.

So, what is the prospective outlook for the Rutgers Scarlet Knights this year?

Find out after the jump. . .

With only 9 healthy scholarship players and no one over 6'8", the team is most definitely undermanned.  There are only 3 legitimate guards in James Beatty, Austin Carroll, and Mike Coburn.  Beatty and Coburn have never been consistent scorers, and are going to be looked upon to be just that now.  Carroll is going to be a role player and a zone buster as a freshman.  Dane Miller is going to be strong, but every team is going to go after him defensively and Mike Poole is still a freshman.  Downlow, the team is small and haven't been burly in the past, so they are probably going to have to work really hard to get rebounds--just like last year.

The problem is this:  the out-of-conference schedule is more difficult this year.  It's highlighted by playing at Princeton, a neutral site match-up with Auburn, welcoming Miami to the RAC, and North Carolina.  The two MAAC teams to come in are favorites to compete for the top of the division. 

And then there's the Big East.  Even in a down year it's always a tough (the best?) conference.  There's a grueling 18 game schedule, and usually at least six of the teams are ranked. 

So, best guess for RU?  I'm going with 8-4 OOC and 5-13 in conference.  And I'm not talking about beating up on Providence or DePaul.  That may happen, but with the way Rice wants to coach this team, I'm guessing they upset at least one ranked team.  There are going to be a lot of scoring droughts this year, but the team is going to play tough, in your face D.  And--as with most teams--there'll be a night or two where everyone will catch fire and start hitting their shots.

Tomorrow, Princeton....

The Season is here!