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We’re Back: What are the major stories around Rutgers Athletics?

After a short hiatus, it feels good to be back.

NCAA Basketball: Rutgers at Penn State Matthew OHaren-USA TODAY Sports

Rutgers Athletics does not take any time away. Of course, the same cannot be said about those who spend time covering every inch of the program.

Over the last 10 days, I was luck enough to spend time on vacation with my closest family and friends. On April 14, my now wife and I celebrated our wedding day on the beautiful beach of Cancun. It was a trip for the ages that came to an end on Wednesday night.

Just one day before the I Do’s, Rutgers received news that UMass guard Noah Fernandes would be coming to Piscataway. So, what does this mean?

Fernandes averaged 13.1 points on a career-high 48% shooting, including 45.2% from three-point range. He suffered an ankle injury causing him to miss the final 15 games of the season. Fernandes brings a skillset that the Scarlet Knights lacked last season.

Offensively, the addition is a big one for Rutgers. Fernandes brings an ability to create his own shot off the dribble. Outside of Derek Simpson, who was raw for much of the season, Rutgers did not have this. Cam Spencer was used as a spot-up shooter while Paul Mulcahy was a bit inconsistent as he showed a stronger ability to get to the rim.

With Fernandes in the mix, this opens everything else up.

Toward the end of the season, Simpson did not look as raw. He began taking over offensively a bit and will only improve during his sophomore year. Spencer will be back and can find the open spot on the floor with the best of them. Fernandes is a strong pick-and-roll ball handler meaning there will be options all over the floor.

Fernandes is officially coming and could Papa Kante be next? Rutgers’ fans are hoping that the 6-foot-10 forward could favor the Scarlet Knights after requesting a release after signing his National Letter of Intent from Michigan. Kante initially chose the Wolverines over Rutgers, Maryland, Pitt, and Memphis.


Rutgers Baseball has worked its way up to a record of 21-16 following an 8-1 victory over Monmouth. The Scarlet Knights have now won six of their last seven games and will take on Northwestern for a weekend series beginning on Friday.

Josh Kuroda-Grauer has been named to the Brooks Wallace Award watch list. This is an award given to the nation’s top shortstop each year.

Kuroda-Grauer has started all 37 games this season and holds a .974 fielding percentage and has not made an error in his last 16 games. He is batting .295 this season and has struck out just 17 times.

Christian Coppola was named Big Ten Pitcher of the Week on April 17 after a dominant performance against Michigan. He threw eight shutout innings, allowing just five hits and striking out 12 while not issuing a single walk. Coppolo finished the seventh inning with 86 pitches and jogged back out for the eighth. He struck out the first two batters of the inning and retired the side in just nine pitches.

Coppola lowered his ERA to 3.24 following the performance and helped Rutgers earn a 13-0 win.

What’s Next?

Spring means the end of practices for football while the most important time of the year for baseball is coming.

It also means that summer is around the corner. Why is that important? It is some of the best days, waiting for football to begin and bringing a glimmer of hope around the program. This is the time when schedule breakdowns and position previews will begin. Until then, we are in this together.

Let us know what you want to hear about or debate about in the comment section! There is no storyline too small to discuss and no argument that is not fun to go back and forth about.

Recruits are coming, important games are around the corner, and hopefully better days are on the horizon across the board. While we wait, there are plenty of conversations to be had so let’s have at it!