This is what building looks like. Flashes of brilliance (a 16-3 run to come back from a 17 point deficit). Moments of horror (going the first seven minutes of the game without a shot). And heartbreak (losing the game on a floater with 2.7 seconds left).
Rutgers did not look good for most of the game tonight. And they fell to 4-5 because of it.
More after the jump...Myles Mack made some circus like plays. Eli Carter got hot and scored 17 pointes. But Gilvydas Biruta missed a wide open dunk and you knew it just wasn't going to be Rutgers' night. Princeton's Ian Hummer was unstoppable and the Tigers hit all the big shots when they needed them.
Except for six of the last seven minutes, Rutgers didn't get any big shots. In the post game press conference on the radio, Mike Rice blamed it on himself. He said he wasn't "connecting" with the team, and they were doing what they wanted on offense. He said he never had a team like this, one that didn't play for each other, but instead just wanted their own points. And he said there would now be consequences.
This game played out like a reply of the Cancun trip. Rutgers falls behind big, rallies, then comes up just short. Dane Miller returned to the starting line-up and brought some much needed energy and leadership, but it wasn't enough. Too many plays on the offensive end weren't smart. Shots were forced, screens weren't set. Whenever the team got an offensive rebound, they tried to force it back in. The guards have a ton to learn about patience and finding the right shot.
There's a lot of work to be done with this team. The lack of seniors is killing them. There's no one to settle the team down in moments of chaos. It's clear they're not comfortable in chaos, which is what Mike Rice always wants. This is by no means a good loss.
And even though Jerome Seagears last minute heave looked like it had a chance, ultimately, Rutgers did not.