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College Hoops Preview: The Forwards

The Key to this Season Could Lie Inside


Rutgers may actually have some talent and experience at forward this year--and after the Mike Rice scandal and ensuing transfers, that's saying something.  While they may be one forward short, depth-wise, the players that will be on the court were highly ranked.

Kadeem Jack: Jack was one of the jewels of the famous Mike Rice recruiting class, but he's taken a while to get his footing under him.  After enrolling early and redshirting, and then being hobbled by an injury, Jack hasn't produced as many had hoped.  However, toward the end of the last season Jack began to show up and be a force on the inside.  Against Villanova, he rocked ESPN with a thunderous dunk.  Now, nearly everyone expects him to have a breakout season. If Jack builds on what he did toward the end of last year, that is certainly possible.  Jack needs to be able to rebound and block shots on the defensive end at the very least.  If what Eddie Jordan say about pressing is true, Jack will need to be the big man, and last line of defense in front of the basket.

Wally Judge: The transfer from Kansas State enters his senior season never quite building on a history of promise.  He has both shown major promise (against DePaul in last year's Big East Tournament) and disappointment (battling a knee injury for much of the year as well).  Judge also needs to rebound the ball, and be a part of putbacks on the offensive end.  If he can secure the basketball, Judge does not need to be an offensive superstar.  Judge needs to lead this year and can start that by doing the little things on the floor.  After being coached by Frank Martin and Rice--two hotheads--it will be interesting to see how Judge reacts to the soft spoken Jordan.

Greg Lewis: The redshirt sophomore is an interesting case.  For two years, Mike Rice expected him to blossom into one of the best big men in the Big East.  However, Lewis has never been fully healthy (sitting out last year completely).  Now he is and has bulked up big time as well.  Lewis was last seen on the court, starting Rutgers' lone Big East Tournament gave in 2011.  Now he is expected to play a major role coming off the bench.  Not much is known about Lewis at this point, but Jordan said he brings some major toughness to the team.

Junior Etou: The lone freshman on the team, Etou is still waiting to be cleared to play by the NCAA.  When that happens, Jordan will be big time excited.  Etou came in known as an energy guy and a big time rebounder, but Jordan clearly sees more than that.  When speaking about Etou at media day, Jordan said that Etou can not only battle in the trenches, but can also step out and hit the 3 point shot.  He expects Etou to be the third leading scorer on the team.

It is expected that both JJ Moore and Malick Kone could step in at the power forward role in a pinch, and if the rumors about strict foul calling are true, they will need an extra body down low at times.