Tonight's loss to George Washington was an all-around awful performance by the Rutgers men's basketball team. Give them credit for not quitting, but they looked completely lost on the court. Corey Sanders played the worst game of the season and sat on the bench for a significant stretch. As Bob Wenzel said during the telecast, he was being taught a lesson. Sanders was forcing shots and was just 1-7 from the field when he was benched. When he reentered the game with 8 minutes left in the second half, he immediately hit a three-pointer. Unfortunately, he continued forcing shots and missed his last four attempts. He failed to register an assist, something that cannot happen.
George Washington put on a clinic, playing together as a team and working to take good shots. They took care of the basketball, obliterating Rutgers in turnover margin 22-7. Rutgers was terrible passing the ball tonight and had at least five passes deflected that were luckily not turnovers. Seven players committed multiple turnovers, led by Sanders and Laurent, the two dynamic freshman, with four each.
GW started the game in a 1-3-1 zone and completely confused Rutgers, jumping out to a 9-0 lead to start the game. Once D.J. Foreman answered with a layup, that was the closest Rutgers would get to the lead the rest of the way. This game was literally over by the first TV timeout. It only got worse from there. GW did whatever it wanted on offense, with little resistance from Rutgers on the defensive end.
1-15 from the field and 8 turnovers put them down 23-2.— On the Banks (@OTB_SBNation) December 12, 2015
Bishop Daniels contributed 12 points and 6 rebounds but little else. Mike Williams had 11 points and he made a point to take better shots, finishing 4-7 from the field. Even with Williams effort, the backcourt of himself, Sanders, Daniels, Grier, Goode and Dadika shot a combined 13-41 from the field for just 32%. It wasn't just the guards, as Laurent went 0-4. The player that needed to get the ball more was D.J. Foreman, who shot only five times and scored just 6 points to along with 8 rebounds. Sanders failed to get him the ball and establish any semblance of an inside game. Rutgers just relied on jump shots and it failed miserably. They lost by 34 points and it wasn't even that close.
The only highlight was Eddie giving walk-on Jake Dadika quality minutes in both halves. He was the only one that played with controlled energy and that made good decisions with the basketball. He hit a three-pointer and did a good job bringing the ball up and the only guard to attempt to run an offense. Solid play off the bench for the sophomore.
Judging by chatter on twitter after the game, patience is running thin and rightfully so. The goal for this season was progress, and you could argue this team has regressed from last season. Granted its a very young team, but the defensive effort has been much worse this season. This team is undisciplined and careless with turnovers and shot selection. That falls on the coaching staff, who are now facing real scrutiny for the first time in Eddie Jordan's tenure as coach. Rutgers is now 4-6 and a win over 6-5 Howard is their best win for the season. Central Connecticut State and Central Arkansas, their two other wins over Division I opponents, are a combined 1-15 this season. With Monmouth next on December 20th, it is likely Rutgers will finish the non-conference schedule portion with a losing record. It will only get worse once Big Ten play starts on December 30th against Indiana.
The truth is Eddie inherited a terrible situation after the Mike Rice, having only four scholarship players remain once he arrived. He only had eleven scholarship players entering this season, and Freeman and Doorson have been out for extended periods, out indefinitely.However, this season is turning into a nightmare and they have not been competitive against good teams. It's possible the team will not meet their 10 wins of last season, which would be a major step back.
Poor athletic director Patrick Hobbs, only two weeks on the job and after just finishing hiring a football coach, he will now start facing questions on the future of Eddie and the basketball program. With 8 days until the next game, there will be plenty of time to ponder how have things gotten so bad. Until then, pain and suffering that Rutgers basketball fans know all too well!