After a back and forth first half, the Scarlet Knights flatted the Spartans in the second half for a run away win over a rank opponent.
Why Can’t They Do That All the Time?: Because they can’t. This is not how basketball will work for this team. They are much more the team that shutdown Iowa than the team that had the offensive outburst. But, as they say, you’re going to have a night or two where nothing goes in and a night or two when everything goes in. This, Nebraska and Michigan were the games where everything goes in. Rutgers still has an absolutely tough schedule ahead, with Ohio State coming to town on Wednesday. I mean tonight they survived and blew out MSU on a night when the opponent made 11 threes! The Scarlet Knights rode the loud RAC (okay, Jersey Mike’s Arena) to a victory. Caleb McConnell was an absolute beast tonight. Take it and run.
Pauly? You Gonna Hear from Him A Lot: Boy, Paul Mulcahy is certainly coming into his own, isn’t he? The junior was dominant again today, scoring 15 points and notching a double double that hard way with 12 assists. There hasn’t been a player like Paul on Rutgers in a long, long time and he handles the basketball as if it is a marionette. Paul’s not ready to lay down for the season and the student section appreciated the hell out of him tonight, chanting “MVP!” at him in the second half. Paul can affect the game in so many ways that he ends up being the most consistent offensive player.
Double Secret Probation: What can you say about Dean Reiber? The oft derided by the comments/message board loonies back-up center is really coming into his own. He’s playing quality minutes and allowing Cliff Omoruyi to stay effective because he’s rested. Reiber is comfortable against Big Ten teams. Today, he was a weapon. Reiber scored 12 points. He was 5-6 from the floor and 2-3 from three point land. When Mulcahy had 2 fouls at the end of the second half, Reiber spelled him at defense, playing power forward while Cliff was still the center. It was a balanced attack tonight—everyone chipped in, particularly on offense, but if you told me Dean would have double digits tonight, I’d be stunned. Hey, it happened.
I’m Enjoying This Season: Maybe you aren’t. Maybe you wanted so much more. The NCAAs are an uphill climb at this point. The Scarlet Knights are going to need a miracle finish. But they give me something to look forward to, night in and night out. In the past two months, this team knocked off the #1 team on a buzzer beater for the ages, a top 25 NET team in Iowa, beat Michigan for the first time ever, and handed the #13 team in the country their hats. Sports are entertainment and I’d rather ride the highs than scream and yell about the lows. This team has given me too many thrills the past two years. I hope they go on that run. I hope they pull off that miracle. 8 games left, though and I love it. So many memories now that we’re back in the arena.