And so Sunday it begins. Rutgers will take the court against George Washington kicking off a 31 game season, their first in the Big Ten. So what's in store?
Let's start with the bad news.
Worst Case Scenario: This season hinges on its two seniors. If Kadeem Jack's finger never fully heals from the sprain and either he misses a good portion of the non-conference schedule or is never really effective this year. He goes out his senior year with a whimper. Meanwhile, the defense is bad, and Rutgers can't get enough stops to allow their fast paced offense to click. Rutgers drops all the toss up games and ends up 6-7 in non-conference and manages 2 wins during a brutal conference schedule. 8-23 with everyone groaning.
Best Case Scenario: Kadeem Jack is 100 percent healthy by Sunday and he becomes the best Rutgers player since Quincy Douby. With Myles Mack as his trusty sidekick, Rutgers finishes the non-conference schedule at 10-3, and using that momentum, confidence and senior leadership find their way to 6 conference wins. That would put the Scarlet Knights at 16-15, sending the seniors off with a winning season. It'd likely put them in a CBI type post season tournament. People would be happy. I would do a lot of high fiving. Jordan would be able to capitalize on this surprise season with some hella-cool recruiting.
Dave's Prediction: I still feel like a homer predicting this, but I think Rutgers falls somewhere in the middle. Assuming Jack can play, they have a chance to explode any night and surprise some teams. I think, as the new pieces start to fall into place, they can go 9-4 in the non-conference schedule and find 4 or 5 wins in conference. To me, senior leadership, confidence, and talent can go a long way. Rutgers has the first, and can grow the other two. I expect the team to pass the eye test and look much more cohesive than last year. No postseason, but a 13 win season finishing at 13-18. Not the best, but Jordan can sell an upset as a signature win and maybe some 2016 talent starts looking that-a-way toward Piscataway.
What do you think?