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From the Cheap Seats: 4 Thoughts on Northwestern

Rutgers loses.

NCAA Basketball: Big Ten Conference Tournament-Ohio State vs Rutgers Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Rutgers didn’t give up: Yes, the big run by Northwestern was tough, but the Scarlet Knights didn’t pack it in for most of the game. They were clearly tired, but Rutgers kept the deficit reasonable for a lot of the second half. They still defended and tried to ween their way back into it. But this team isn’t offensively talented enough to do that, as we saw all season. Especially because they worked so hard the evening before. But as the game wore on, Rutgers wore down. Just tough to keep up that kind of intensity in a blowout. Will be interesting to reflect on what Steve Pikiell thinks.

I’m Not Ready for This to End: As of right now, most of the team is coming back next year. Rutgers sits at 15-18, their most wins since 2013. If the CBI comes calling, I doubt the Scarlet Knights seriously consider it, but I’m a fan. I want them to keep playing. It’s unlikely. And I full on admit to being a fan and hoping for this, but this was a fun year. Pikiell and the team seem resigned to being finished with this season. The building process is a marathon and just beginning. However, unlike the last couple of years, I really don’t want Rutgers basketball to end yet. I wish they’d consider it. Leaving this season as just feels too soon.

Good for Northwestern: I thought there was a good chance they came in tight tonight, thinking maybe they were on the bubble (even though they weren’t). Rutgers could have been fired up and really made them start to get nervous. But when Rutgers’ offensive lapse happened, the Wildcats took advantage. They’re going dancing, and Chris Collins’ formula would be a good one for Pikiell to pattern himself after.

Now the hard part begins: Let’s say it actually is over and the CBI doesn’t come a knockin’. The word on Rutgers is out. They play hard, but can’t score. At times, they defend at an elite level. They have a JUCO point guard and a freshman combo guard coming in. They need more offense, but at the moment don’t have any open scholarships. It’s going to be interesting to see how and/or if Rutgers coaching staff flips this roster a little more. They’re going to need a replacement for CJ Gettys and another three point shooter would help. This off season is going to be very interesting, but change is probably necessary. Lots to keep an eye on.

For more, herrrrrrrrrrrre’s Aaron.