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Knight Caps: a quick spin around Rutgers Nation

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Spring sports are in full gear and we’re going to update a few happenings

Ben Solomon/Rutgers Athletics

Rutgers Giving Day

Over the last few years, the Rutgers Foundation has held a giving day in the spring. It's a one day push - with challenges and prizes - to raise a chunk of money over a 24 hour period. This year’s Giving Day fell on a snow day (March 21) and the Foundation decided to use that as a reason to extend the day into Thursday, March 22. Turned out to be a good idea as the goal of 5,000 donors was exceeded - by 469 - and $2,536,483 was raised. Do that over the other 363 days of the year and you’d raise almost $460 million. Okay, let’s be happy with the $2.4 mil.

Athletics did okay in the process. From the Giving Day website, athletics picked up the following:

On the Banks graphic

The Marching Band - indirectly a part of athletics - pulled in a bit over a grand, which will be going to supplement the instrument inventory. We asked Band Director Todd Nichols about the support. “Our entire MSK family is incredibly appreciative of the generous support from band donors on RU Giving Day. Money raised will be used to help replace our outdated instrument inventory. Thank you one and all for your incredibly generosity to the RU MSK.”

Rowing

Last summer Rutgers announced the hiring of a new rowing coach. Justin Price’s pedigree was excellent, and we speculated that the hiring of a coach with west coast ties was a serious step forward for the Olympic sports. After all, would someone leave a successful post at his alma mater if he didn’t have a solid commitment from the new place.

Well, Price’s debut “on the banks” was a successful one as the Knights swept Columbia.

Rutgers took wins in the second varsity eight and varsity eight to end the day. In the varsity four, Rutgers’ first varsity four finished with a winning time of 7:19.3, while Columbia placed second in 7:21.2, followed by the second varsity four in 7:34.4.

And when you win, people take note and say nice things about you.

RU’s novice eight finished first in 6:52.2, followed by the third varsity eight for the Lions in 7:12.7 and the Scarlet Knights’ second novice eight in 7:25.5.

For the new coach, it was a very good day. “Today was a good day for the Scarlet Knights. It was a lot of fun to see the athletes on the race course for the first time this season. Everyone in the program did a nice job today. We will be able to achieve some great things if we continue to work hard to improve.”

Tyler Scaife

Redshirt senior guard Tyler Scaife has been named a WBCA All-Region nominee for 2018 WBCA NCAA Division I Coaches’ All-America. She is among 52 candidates in the running for a spot on the 10-member WBCA NCAA Division I Coaches’ All-America Team.

A First Team All-Big Ten selection by both the coaches and media and First Team All-ECAC honoree, Scaife averaged a team-leading 19.4 points per game during her redshirt senior season. Scaife became the Scarlet Knights’ second all-time leading scorer and is the eighth active leading Division I scorer with 2,233 career points.

The recognition puts her in some elite company among Rutgers women hoopsters.

All Academic Big Ten Honors

The Big Ten recognized 33 Rutgers student-athletes - led by 15 swimming & diving team members - as Winter 2018 Academic All-Conference, it was announced on Wednesday. All eligible Rutgers programs are represented on the list, which includes 14 repeat selections and the school’s first, four-time honoree in wrestling graduate student and three-time NCAA Championships qualifier Nick Gravina.

To be eligible for Academic All-Big Ten selection, students must be on a varsity team, as verified by being on the official squad list as of March 1 for winter sports, who have been enrolled fulltime at the institution for a minimum of 12 months and carry a cumulative grade-point average of 3.0 or higher.

The full list of Rutgers honorees can be found here.

The conference recognized 872 students representing all 14 schools. The list of honorees features 45 men’s and 68 women’s basketball students, 76 men’s and 83 women’s gymnasts, 142 men’s and 239 women’s swimming and diving students, 138 wrestlers and 81 men’s ice hockey students.

Rutgers, of course, does not compete in ice hockey, men’s gymnastics, or men’s swimming. Taking out those numbers (299 athletes), it reduces the overall number to 573 or 40.9 per school.

Construction update

Just the other day we posted a photo gallery of what was going on at the RWJBarnabas Health Performance Center construction. We mentioned that Pat Hobbs had indicated steel would be going up in March or April. Literally days after we posted, RU told the world that, indeed, steel was in the air. Now we’re talking!

Coaching stuff

In our wrestling recap, we mentioned that there were two head coaching positions were open in the Big Ten, one at Michigan and one at Associate Head Coach Donny Pritzlaff’s alma mater, Wisconsin. We speculated that it was certainly possible that Wisconsin, in particular, might come calling to obtain Pritzlaff’s services to replace Barry Davis.

Not so fast, my friends.

Pritzlaff put an end to that speculation with this tweet:

Good news all around!

Men’s Golf

Rutgers finished in seventh place at the Seahawk Intercollegiate hosted by UNC-Wilmington. Conditions weren’t great throughout the event, though not as nasty as it was in Madison for softball.

The Knights (894) moved up three places from their first round results, wrapping up just six strokes behind sixth place Boston College. Michigan State, the only other Big Ten school in the field, finished third (879) behind champion UNC-Wilmington (862) and second place Campbell (874).

Senior Matt Holuta and freshmen Oliver Whatley and Christopher Gotterup – tied for 18th (222) to lead Rutgers during the 54-hole tournament, played on the Nicklaus Course at the Country Club of Landfall.

“We faced challenging conditions with lower temperatures and strong wind gusts, so I’m proud of how the guys responded later on,” said head coach Rob Shutte. “We created energy in that second round and tried to hit the ground running this morning (Monday) for round three, but the scores all up and down the field reflected the tough playing conditions. Our young guys played well, so there are definitely positives to take out of this tournament as we prepare for Penn State’s tournament next month.”

RVision’s Top Plays

And a shout out and top o’ the hat to the folks at RVision. It includes some footage from Rowing’s victory on the Raritan.