The Rutgers Men's Basketball team has lost 21 straight Big Ten games, including the last five by an average of 31.4 points. They suffered their worst home loss in program history Tuesday night to Purdue, topping their worst home loss since 1961 by 34 points to Nebraska a week and a half ago. Things are bad. Eddie Jordan, a favorite son and class act, has not returned the program to the glory he led it to as a player. As the losses have mounted, he has said some pretty ridiculous things this season. Which of course, made me think of former Rutgers football head coach Kyle Flood. In an effort to find laughter in the dead of winter, while facing the cold reality that the Rutgers men's basketball team is arguably the worst Big Ten team ever, let's play the game....
Which Rutgers Coach Said It, Kyle Flood or Eddie Jordan?
Cue the seventies game show theme music and here we go. The rules are simple, just read the quote and decide whether coach Flood or coach Jordan said it. It's that easy. Or are some of these so ridiculous, that it's actually difficult to figure out? Time to play!
"If you really believe that the focus has to be 1-0, then that has to be the focus and that's the only way to ultimately achieve whatever the greater goals are.''
Haha gotcha! I wanted to start you off with an easy one and an all-time Kyle Flood classic, with this variation of it. This particular gem came after the 49-16 drubbing at the hands of Jim Harbaugh and Michigan.
"I told them I’m not going through rebounding drills guys. That’s not in my package as a coach. Rebounding is about heart and nose for the ball and wanting to go get it. That’s just not me as a coach."
Again, another easy one because of the focus on rebounding. However, it's kind of remarkable that Eddie Jordan actually said this at a post-game press conference. The fact that it came AFTER a 29 point home loss to blood rival Seton Hall and a week after his new boss Patrick Hobbs took over, makes it simply mind boggling. The fact that Rutgers lost the rebounding battle 53-32 and he said this AFTERWARDS, makes me crazy! The man makes 1.2 million dollars to coach this team, and rebounding isn't in his "package". Guess what, rebounding is also about positioning, boxing out properly and timing. You know, learned skills that are taught and coached and practiced on thirteen other Big Ten teams, as well as the rest of the 300+ college basketball teams. Why would you not want to focus on every possible detail as a coach? Terrible quote.
"Every position, we make the decision the same way. It's the player that gives us the best chance to be 1-0 this week. I feel like Chris is that guy."
Ah another Kyle Flood classic, this time with his patented defense for Chris Laviano as the starting quarterback. An oldie but a goodie, indeed!
In regards to blowout losses: "I think we've come out of it a better team. I think now, just by going through the experience of it, and going on the road and playing some of the best teams in the country, we're going to be a better team because of it." He later went on to say, "We evaluate the film and then we evaluate everything we did and then we move forward. We make the corrections and we work toward being better."
Flood again, with my all-time personal favorite, "we'll make the corrections this week" line. This came after Rutgers lost three games in a row to Ohio State, Wisconsin, and Michigan by the combined score of 146-33. Give Flood credit, he found a comfort zone with certain catch phrases and kept using them, despite how bad it sounded or infuriating it was to fans. Similar to his coaching, he never changed, all while thinking the results somehow would. Okay, moving on.
"I’ll bring them in, and we’ll do some things and get on the field/court and watch film, and stay together and reiterate to them how important effort and harmony is."
Ratcheting up the difficulty scale with this one. This time it's Eddie Jordan, after the 34 point loss at home to Nebraska, on the night the 1975-1976 Final Four team was honored. It's really not that different than what Flood said regarding blowout losses. It wasn't ridiculous and made sense, but made me smile in frustration. This was after the team completely no showed, giving by far their worst effort of the season, embarrassing their coach and the program. Harmony is the least of their problems.
"No. What was disappointing about the defensive effort?"
Could be a tossup between Eddie and Flood, right? We know for sure this definitely came after a blowout loss in which either the football or basketball team gave up a ton of points. Sure enough, this was Eddie Tuesday night after his team surrendered 107 points to Purdue, resulting in the worst home loss in school history. A game in which Rutgers players were constantly beaten to the ball, beaten to the rim, left the paint open all night, and stood flat footed as Purdue players crashed the boards all around them for the ball. That was disappointing, Eddie! They say the first step in fixing a problem is recognizing that you have a problem. Rutgers is bad at defense. Really bad.
"Coach X gives us continuity along with our staff." He later states, "Coach X has allowed us to keep a system in place that we believe in as a program and that's exciting".
Coach X is former defensive coordinator Joe Rossi, and this is when Flood was asked about the difficulties that the defense had experienced during the rough stretch of mid-October through mid-November. Coach speak at its best, talking about a system that yielded arguably the three worst defenses in program history. And it wasn't because of the system, it was because the coaching and execution of it the past three seasons, post-Schiano. Amazing stuff. Jordan would be impressed.
"I can't give them toughness." "There were some plays where we weren't proactive physically enough. I tell our guys, 'You've got to hit first. It's going to hurt, but it hurts less when you hit first. It hurts more when you get hit.' Some of our guys just aren't physically tough right now and I can't give them that."
At first read it sounds like Kyle Flood 101, but then you get more into it, you realize he would never admit his team wasn't physically tough, despite getting pushed around by the Big Ten elite on the field every Saturday. No, Eddie said this again Tuesday night after the 50 point debacle. The reason it resonated with me was that Eddie was taking the stance that he can't instill toughness in his own team. And when you compare it to recent statements by new football coach Chris Ash, it makes you wonder why a coach would ever think that?
Football is obviously a much more physical, contact sport, but all elite competitions require physical toughness, as he was discussing here. Why can't Eddie make them tougher? I played high school basketball and I still remember running about 30 suicide running drills in a row after a bad loss in a Holiday tournament. It was 20 years ago and I can place myself right back at that baseline watching the scoreboard count each run, our coach pacing back and forth, yelling the number.
Is Eddie holding back on being hard on these kids after the Mike Rice scandal? It would be understandable at first, but I don't think that is the reason, especially in year three. Being hard is different than being crazy, like Rice was. I hate to say it, but its a key difference in the NBA coaching mindset and college coaching mindset. And for Eddie to say he can't instill toughness in his team is a fundamental problem. He doesn't teach rebounding and he can't make them tougher. So is it not a coaching issue? Or should we keep making lack of facilities the excuse for why the program is at its lowest point?
"This is not doom and gloom right now."
Personally for me, this is an Eddie Jordan instant classic. This came after Purdue as well, and it makes you seriously wonder if this isn't our own coach's rock bottom, what is? Reminder, this came after the worst home loss in school history, amidst a 21 game conference losing streak. In the same sitting, he announced that three frontcourt players will be out the rest of the season (Deshawn Freeman, Ibrahima Diallo, Shaq Doorson). I know coach speak and I respect his staying positive, but they were his words after one of the worst losses in program history, in what will be the worst season in the past 20 years. If this isn't doom and gloom time now, god help us all!
@OTB_SBNation Yeah, that's when I got Flood flashbacks.— Dan Duggan (@DDuggan21) January 19, 2016
"I feel fully supported by the administration here at Rutgers."
The kiss of death, when the press start asking the head coach if he feels supported by the university and its administration. This was a regular question to Kyle Flood this past season and he gave the standard yes answer every time. There really is no choice otherwise. The point is, while it hasn't happened yet, Eddie Jordan will undoubtedly start receiving this question at post-game press conferences, after blowout losses, in the very near future. And once that happens, athletic director Patrick Hobbs will receive a similar question about his support of Eddie. The real answer, not the politically correct one, that Hobbs decides on, will determine the future of Eddie Jordan as the head coach of the Rutgers basketball team. With two years left on his contract and a raise due after the season, Hobbs has to either commit to Eddie or move on. A proud fanbase awaits Hobbs decision.