A new year is upon us and in the spirit of optimism, here are 50 things that I hope can realistically happen in 2019 within Rutgers Athletics. I’ve assembled a list of random thoughts in no particular order that I hope come true. These are not predictions, but if they all do happen, we can buy lottery tickets together next year.
Without further ado.....
1) Gymnastics and Softball show improvement under first year coaches Umma Salem-Beasley & Kristen Butler.
2) Women’s basketball team makes the NCAA Tournament.
3) Rutgers men’s basketball wins more Big Ten regular season games than ever before and finishes better than last place in conference play.
4) Steve Pikiell and his coaching staff lands an impact recruit for the final 2019 scholarship still available.
5) Anthony Ashnault and Nick Suriano both win national championships in their respective weight classes.
6) Rutgers wrestling produces four All-Americans and a top ten finish at the NCAA Championships.
7) Men’s Lacrosse finally makes the NCAA Tournament and wins a game while being there.
8) Hope is still alive in October regarding the football team.
9) Field Hockey takes the next step by finishing in the top four of the Big Ten and wins an NCAA Tournament game.
10) Men’s Track & Field’s 4x100 relay team wins the Big Ten Outdoor title.
11) Men’s track and field’s Boaz Madeus doesn’t miss a beat in return from injury and builds off an impressive freshman campaign.
12) Men’s track and field’s Izaiah Brown finishes off a great Rutgers career with a fourth consecutive 400m Big Ten Indoor title.
13) Football wins 5 games next season.
14) Women’s soccer wins a Big Ten title and makes a deep run in the NCAA Tournament.
15) Baseball produces a winning record this season and finishes in the middle of the Big Ten standings.
16) Women’s lacrosse produces a winning record and a Big Ten Tournament win.
17) Rutgers football’s offense becomes average.
18) Men’s lacrosse’s Adam Charalambides stays healthy and wins comeback player of the year for all of college lacrosse.
19) Men’s basketball’s Shaq Doorson gets the standing ovation he deserves on Senior Day.
20) Women’s basketball’s Stasha Carey makes some All-Big Ten.
21) Wrestler Nick Gravina comes back strong from injury and makes All-American by season’s end.
22) Women’s soccer’s Amirah Ali wins Big Ten Player of year and becomes a First team All-American.
23) Field Hockey’s Daphne Groothuis wins Big Ten Player of the Year and becomes a First Team All-American.
24) The practice facility for men’s and women’s basketball, wrestling and gymnastics opens on time and to rave reviews.
25) A Rutgers quarterback throws for 2,000+ yards next season.
26) A Rutgers receiver catches for over 500 yards next season.
27) Men’s soccer improves under first year head coach Jim McElderry.
28) Rutgers Rowing wins a major event.
29) Taj Burgess becomes a First Team All-American in the 400m outdoors.
30) Women’s track & field produces at least one All-American.
31) Volleyball brings in another quality recruiting class and wins a Big Ten match or two.
32) The RAC becomes as hard of a place to play for opponents as it ever was.
33) Rutgers does something worthy of the 150th year anniversary for football that fans are happy with.
34) The marketing department continues to be outstanding in promoting Rutgers Athletics and gets recognized for it.
35) Rutgers finishes ahead of Penn State and Northwestern in Big Ten men’s basketball.
36) Chris Ash reinstates spring awards honoring loyal sons Frank Burns, Mark Mills and Douglas Smith.
37) Rutgers football wear red helmets at least for all the home games next season.
38) More student athletes perform at a high level and receive Big Ten all-academic honors than ever before.
39) Rutgers beats Boston College in football.
40) Rutgers beats Princeton in every sport they play.
41) Men’s Basketball beats Seton Hall at the RAC.
42) Pat Hobbs has a better year at the helm than he did in 2018.
43) Rutgers upsets some Big Ten blue blood in both men’s basketball and football.
44) Mike O’Neill, Meredith Civico and Scott Goodale receive more credit than they get now and are universally recognized as successfully drafting the blueprint for how coaches can win at Rutgers.
45) More baby races at Rutgers halftime shows.
46) Rutgers football lands a top ten recruit from New Jersey in the early signing period.
47) Jim Delany has legitimate reasons to talk positively about Rutgers.
48) Johnathan Lewis develops into a very good tight end.
49) All Rutgers fans donate something this year to the RFund, no matter how small.
50) My biggest hope is something unites the Rutgers fan base in a way in 2019 like never before.
Whether it be a major upset, the first Big Ten title in school history, an NCAA Tournament run or some type of historic achievement that brings the entire Rutgers community together, it’s what I hope happens most in 2019, even for just one day.
Happy New Year to everyone. Thank you for all the comments, views and support over this past year. My one guarantee for 2019 is that all of us from On The Banks will keep working hard to foster what we think is the best forum to discuss Rutgers sports on the internet. We won’t always agree and we won’t always be happy, but we will always tell it like we see it, that I promise because we are fans first. Here are to better days ahead in 2019 for Rutgers Athletics and to all of you as well.