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Embracing Expectations: 4 Thoughts on NJIT

Rutgers v Iowa Photo by Matthew Holst/Getty Images

Rutgers came to play tonight and defeated NJIT 85-58. It was a complete performance. Four Thoughts:

Myles Johnson and Ron Harper, Jr.: These two came to play tonight. Johnson pulled down his first double-double of the season with 17 points and 11 rebounds. The Highlanders were unable to stop him anywhere near the basket. Johnson had lay-ups, dunks and even a fadeaway shot. He pulled down rebounds and controlled the paint completely. Meanwhile, Harper put together the full game we’ve been waiting for. He dominated the game and scored 25. Great game to build on.

Sharing the ball: Rutgers had 22 assists tonight. They were unselfish all the way around. Freshman Paul Mulcahy was incredibly impressive with 7 assists. When Rutgers moves the ball the way they did tonight, they beat the defenses and get really good looks. It’s something they have to keep working on, but when it clicks, it’s really fun to watch.

Odd Match-ups: It’s clear Rutgers matches up better with teams built more traditionally. The teams that are ranked poorly but really seem to bother Rutgers are teams that are smaller and play like gnats. Stephen F Austin got in passing lanes. There were moments that Bryant played five guards. NJIT is ranked higher than both of those teams in KenPom, but were built more traditionally and Rutgers was able to out match them up. Really fun game to watch.

The Protest That Wasn’t: This has got to be mentioned... a lot of people on Twitter, Facebook and all the message boards were talking up coming to this game tonight and booing, shouting and protesting about the football stuff. There was a lot of talk that AD Pat Hobbs wouldn’t show his face. However, Pat Hobbs was there. No one booed. One guy tried to start a “Greg Schiano” chant that never caught on. Two other guys had “Team Schiano” shirts on and there was a small banner. For all the talk of storming the court, it was a really lame protest. Lots of people like to complain on the internet, but it truly did not show up in the way a lot of people on social media expected it to.