In what is clearly a lost season for the Scarlet Knights, the most interesting moment wasn't Brian Oliver being ejected for a flagrant 2 foul after (intentionally or unintentionally) throwing Junior Etou to the ground. It wasn't Rutgers frantic comeback to pull within 1, and then-after a foul-being down 3 missing a rebound that would have given the Knights a chance to tie with 30 second left.
No, the most interesting moment came much earlier, when Seton Hall's guards overplayed the Rutgers guards, forcing a turnover and an easy lay-up. Tim Welsh, barely hiding his disgust at Rutgers play, said, "Oh, that doesn't happen. That won't happen when Eddie Jordan gets his players in here. In an Eddie Jordan offense, that's a bounce pass and a backdoor lay-up."
It's an interesting observation, because as much as Eddie Jordan insists he won't be playing the Princeton offense this year, in the future they'll need to be. He'll need his players, who fit his system, who bring length to force the issue. Right now the problem is this: No matter how talented the players are, they don't fit what Eddie wants to run.
And neither is giving an inch.
Eddie Jordan is running a system that doesn't fit his team. And his team is not adjusting to that season well enough to compete--that adjustment is making them look a bit lackadaisical too--which I don't think they are. I think they're trying, hustling.
But the pieces don't fit. Not even close.
That's a bad sign, and it seem that--in the second week of December--this season is about to spiral out of control. Rutgers has lost 5 Division 1 games in a row, this one to their hated rival. There are a lot of pieces for Eddie to deal, but none of them fit.
The guards are too small. The forwards aren't mobile enough (in Wally Judge's case) and don't defend in the post well enough (in Kadeem Jack's case). The team is playing hard, but they aren't playing well.
There's a difference.
And it's a shame.
Because, by all accounts, these are good kids, and Jordan is a good coach. They deserve something good to happen to them. Especially after all they dealt with. But Princeton is rolling into town on Wednesday, and they're just as good if not better than some of the teams Rutgers has lost to.
A win won't solve the problems, but it would get some of the venom out of the wound of the past 3 weeks. It isn't time for Rutgers yet.
It might not be for another 4 or 5 years.
It might not ever be. Maybe we were all to optimistic with the job Jordan and company did putting a team of misfits together after the Mike Rice era. Maybe the year is going to be the same with the misfits or with a team of walk-ons.
But look at what Welsh had to say. Eddie isn't running exactly the plays he wants.
And the players still don't fit. That doesn't mean that can't figure it out at some point.
But it needs to be soon.