It began with a new-look starting lineup against Indiana. Now, Rutgers will show off a new uniform on Thursday night against Michigan State.
The Scarlet Knights are pulling out all the stops to turn their season around over the final 10 games. They will debut throwback jerseys to honor the 1983 team — the last Rutgers’ team to win an NCAA Tournament game. They’ve previously worn throwback uniforms honoring the 1975-1976 Final Four team. The announcement came on Wednesday morning via the Rutgers’ Basketball Twitter account.
If you are into superstitions, this debut could not come at a better time. Rutgers is hoping to avenge a loss to Michigan State early in the season. The Scarlet Knights were handled 68-45 in their worst performance of the season. If there is ever a time to catch the Spartans, it is now. They have played just one game since their blowout victory over Rutgers and have been sidelined for nearly three weeks.
On Thursday night, the Scarlet Knights will look to channel the 1982-1983 team.
Coached by Tom Young, Rutgers finished at the first top of the Atlantic 10 with an 11-3 record in conference play and 23-8 overall. They were led by Roy Hinson who averaged 16.6 points and 8.6 rebounds per game. Hinson went onto play eight years in the NBA with the Cleveland Cavaliers, Philadelphia 76ers, and New Jersey Nets.
The Scarlet Knights earned the top seed in the A-10 Tournament but were eliminated in the semi-finals after a 72-67 loss to Temple. They entered the NCAA Tournament as a nine-seed and squared off against Louisiana.
After falling behind early, Rutgers used a big second half to pick up a 60-53 first-round victory. Rutgers had eight players score at least six points in the game, led by Clarence Tillman who finished with 11 points. The Scarlet Knights would suffer a 66-55 loss to St. John’s in the second round. This was the last tournament victory for Rutgers.
The Scarlet Knights have not made it back to the big dance since the 1990-1991 season. They were on their way back last season before the pandemic cancelled all postseason activity. There is still time for Rutgers to make a run over the second half of the Big Ten schedule.
It will begin on Thursday night against Michigan State and the Scarlet Knights will attempt to do it in style.