Rutgers stepped up the D again and beat a weak Coppin State team by 25. Want to know more about the ins and outs of this battle? Read Aaron’s recap.
The Corey Sanders Situation: Steve Pikiell sent a message today. To the surprise of the crowd, Corey Sanders came off the bench while Pikiell started senior Mike Williams and freshman Geo Baker at the guard spots. After the game, Pikiell pointed toward effort in practice as a reason why Corey didn’t start. This is good coaching by Pikiell. In order for Rutgers to overachieve this year, Sanders needs to start and play at his best. If starting is important to Corey, then Pikiell needs to take that away from him until he gives the total effort that Pikiell expects in practice. That said, Corey did register 13 points in 23 minutes including a rim rattling dunk that had the fans on their feet.
Pikiell Trusts Geo: Once again, Geo Baker led the team in minutes with 32. And he really made his presence felt. He made one of the 2 (yes, I know more on this in a minute) three point shots Rutgers made all day and he ran the point cleanly. Geo was in control and had some great looks. Rutgers ball movement was fantastic today, and Geo had a lot to do with that.
Yes, the Shooting isn’t great right now: I think Rutgers is better at shooting the ball than they showed today. They shot 2 for 17 from deep and 14-28 from the free throw line. That’s leaving a lot of points on the floor and is a trend that’s continuing over from last year. But, I think if both Issa Thiam and Geo Baker can get hot in the same game some of these numbers can change. And if Mike Williams joins in the party? Watch out. Shooting is not going to be the strong suit of this team, but there will be nights than it’s better than this.
Eugene Omoruyi Has Improved: Omoruyi was all over the place tonight, scoring 19 and pulling in 8 rebounds. His energy was miles above everyone else’s. Without him, Rutgers is probably in a dogfight the entire way. But Omoruyi really stepped up when Rutgers needed him and did all the things the team needed to be done on the floor. So far, Omoruyi is the most improved player on the team. More and more he’s reaching for another starting spot, but his energy off the bench is making him a fan favorite.