According to Paul Franklin of the Trenton Times, Eddie Jordan will be the new Rutgers basketball coach.
Jordan, a former Scarlet Knight, has spent most of his coaching career in the NBA, as an assistant for the Nets and the Lakers, and head coach of the Wizards and the 76ers. Jordan also coached the DC Assault in 2012 and the freshman team at Archbishop Carroll High School during the NBA lockout/strike thingy.
Older alums love "Fast" Eddie, as he was an integral part of the 1976 that made a run to the Final Four, Rutgers Basketball's finest moment. Expect fans to be energized by this move, and maybe it'll affect the RAC renovation donations--assuming that gets back off the ground when a new AD* is hired.
*Speaking of the new AD search, check out this telling tweet by candidate Sean Frazier.
Jordan is known as an X's and O's guy, and one who uses the Princeton offense to his advantage. He's been a proponent of the offense in the NBA--using it during the heyday of Jason Kidd and Kenyon Martin's Nets career. Some say the Princeton offense is a snoozer to watch, but it really depends on how it's played. John Thompson III runs the offense at Georgetown, but they can still get out and run if the opportunity presents itself. If Jordan plays the game that way, it will help attract talent. At the same time, that kind of ball motion will keep lesser talented teams in games against better teams.
And in college basketball, if you're in a game down the stretch, you have a chance.
The big question about Jordan is: Can he recruit? Jordan has lots of ties to the Washington DC area, but he's going to have to cultivate contacts and grow relationships in the New York/New Jersey/Philadelphia area. A strong assistant staff will be key. Jordan will have to bring in some big time recruiters to compete with the sharks in this area. One wonders if he can pull Darren Savino away from Cincinnati and back to New Jersey. Another name to keep in mind is former NBA and Jordan assistant Mike O'Koren.
Speaking of assistant staff, there is considerable buzz that Jordan will keep David Cox on the job. This is key. Earlier this week, the players advocated for Cox to be named head coach. If Jordan keeps Cox around, the odds that the core of this team transfers out will lessen. Keeping Myles Mack, Eli Carter, Kadeem Jack, and Derrick Randall around is very important. And, who knows, maybe Jordan can even convince Jerome Seagears to stick around.
One tends to wonder if Jordan will consider keeping Van Macon as well. Keeping Macon allows Rutgers to stay in the game for Shane Rector and Jon Severe, two recruits Mike Rice had been chasing pretty hard.
Should Jordan keep one or both of the assistants, it will be very interesting to see how the media reacts. Jordan is a favorite alum and a classy guy, but both assistants have ties to Mike Rice and witnessed what was on the infamous practice tape.
There is talent on this Scarlet Knights team. Near the end of last season it appeared the Scarlet Knights had embraced ball sharing, and appeared primed to start to turn the corner. If the talent sticks around, Jordan will have an experienced team on his hands, and that could lead to early success. And early success can prove something to recruits looking to see what Jordan has to offer. The key is the 2015 class, which--in this area--is extremely talented.
This isn't the perfect hire, by any stretch. Jordan was an assistant in college in the early 90s, but has little college coaching experience beyond that. One wonders if he can handle the day in, day out grind of recruiting and if he has the ability to run a program of young men. His experience with the DC Assault breeds confidence in that area.
However, Jordan is a feel good hire and turns the page away from the Mike Rice area. Keep an eye on this situation. With a season in limbo before joining to the Big Ten, this team could make some noise.
But, Eddie Jordan has to hit the ground running.
But that's what "Fast" Eddie is known for around these parts. No one worries about him getting out and running.