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Embracing Expectations: 4 Thoughts On Wisconsin

NCAA Basketball: Wisconsin at Rutgers Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

Rutgers dropped its fourth Big Ten game in a row. Most of the players think it’s not time to panic.

Four Thoughts:

Jacob Young Is Fantastic: The speedy guard has really shown up this season. He scored 19 points and is the engine that makes this team go. He’s so fast. He also did such a great job defending D’Mitrick Trice for most of the game as well. Young’s optimism, smile and athleticism have been the high point of the season so far. There’s not much else to say about him, but he has been fun to watch.

Geo Baker and Ron Harper Jr Have Gone Away: The Dynamic Duo need to step up again. Early in the season, Harper was playing like an All American and last season Geo was the closer. But in this stretch neither have been pieces Rutgers can rely on. They need to recalibrate offensively and start playing smart basketball again. If they can get going again, Rutgers will be fine.

Finally, Rutgers Basketball: The Scarlet Knights played the way they have since Steve Pikiell showed up on the banks. They got down and grinded the game. A 60-54 loss? They outrebounded Wisconsin and they slowed them at every step of the way. The way Rutgers defended? That’s what we have to see the rest of the way. If that happens, they will be fine. If not, however...

I’m Sorry: Guys, part of this is our fault. I mean, not really—who can predict a global pandemic? But the lack of fans at the RAC clearly impacted this team. I believe Iowa and Wisconsin would have been in the W column if the RAC was rocking. This team just flat out feeds off the energy a crowd offers. But without it, they have to find their own energy. Early in the season, they were—they have 3 quad 1 wins after all. But now, when the chips are down, they haven’t been able to dig deep. A RAC crowd would have helped them.