The Rutgers women’s basketball team has had an interesting start to their season thus far. After last night’s loss at Nebraska, the team’s record stands at 5-13. With the heart of the Big Ten schedule just about to begin, things do not look they will turn around anytime soon for this team.
Rutgers fans have known this season that things would not be easy for them. It all started when it was announced before the season that star player and All Big-Ten selection Tyler Scaife would be taking a medical redshirt. The leadership and talent of Scaife, who led the Scarlet Knights in scoring with 17.2 PPG last season, has been something the Scarlet Knights have been unable to overcome.
After starting the season with 5 straight losses, the team was able to secure their first win of the season against Bryant. The team then entered their next game against perennial Top 25 Duke, and things began to turn sour once again. The Knights began the night by retiring former player Cappie Pondexter’s number, however the smiles in the crowd did not last long. The Scarlet Knights were trounced 68-32 and you can tell that this season would be a long one. While this team has pulled out some wins this season, most notably against conference rival Penn State, this season should be measured by player development, and not wins and losses.
With their Big Ten record now at 2-3, Coach Stringer has to hope that the team does not lose confidence in themselves and continue to grow as a team. The strong play of Junior Shrita Parker, averaging a team high 10 PPG, and the growing confidence of Sophomore guard KK Sanders, must continue for this season to be considered a step in the right direction. Sanders in particular is showing a lot of potential in terms of being a floor leader for this team and hopefully she continues her improvement throughout the season.
This team has shown grit throughout the season. They are trying to play with the passion you typically see in a Coach Stringer team, but the talent is just not there…yet. There is hope on the horizon for this team. Next year they will welcome one of the top recruits in the country in forward/center, Jada Wright. They will also be welcoming back Scaife, along with impact transfers in St. Joseph's transfer Kathleen Fitzpatrick, Pittsburgh transfer Stasha Carey, and Georgia Tech transfer Ciani Cryor . With these players, and the current roster of athletes, this team should be able to contend in a strong Big Ten conference in the 2017-18 season.