The last five minutes were (almost) impressive: With Rutgers trailing and Corey Sanders fouled out, it looked like another 10-15 point loss for the Scarlet Knights. But, without their best player, Rutgers rallied to tie the game with a minute or so left. However, an inability (or missed) switch on a screen caused Mike Williams to get over aggressive and foul Kam Williams as he shot a three. The four point play was a killer, but again this team shows moxie.
This Team Is What It Is: With only a handful of games left, you know what you’re going to get. They are not going to make their free throws or a ton of three pointers. Go in expecting that each game and don’t look for ways to improve in practice, fans. It’s not going to happen. This is a pesky Rutgers team, and one that will probably find at least one more win. But they are still coming off a 7 win season and in need of offensive talent.
Steve Pikiell Is a God Send: The man is a great coach. Rutgers consistently good shots out of timeouts. They play really tough defense and they are miles ahead of where they were last year and even where they were in late December. They keep improving and they have bought in. No matter what the team looks like next year, Pikiell has to recruit and keep the buy-in way up. That’s the next step.
Shaquille Doorson, Issa Thiam and Eugene Omoruyi: These three players have shown the most improvement as the season has gone on. Early in the year, losing CJ Gettys to foul trouble would cause a big drop off in the middle, but Doorson did a great job clogging the lane and defending. Thiam’s shot is starting to fall and you can see him finding his comfort on the floor. And Omoruyi is playing quality minutes as well. As they continue to trend towards improvement, all three could be really good players two years from now.
For our game recap with highlights and coach Pikiell’s postgame presser, click here.