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Rutgers Basketball Preview: Best Case Worse Case

Basketball season predictions

Jim O'Connor-USA TODAY Sports

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?