The fine folks that comment on NJ.com don't seem happy (they never seem happy....), but what do you guys think? Like many of you I didn't like Barchi, but this year I think he surprised us all with the Athletic Dept. changes. A raise though? Not sure.
Saturday night. An indoor version of Pandemonium in Piscataway as RU Wrestling took on an old foe in Lehigh. The match, tied at 15-all, came down to heavyweight. And Billy Smith didn't disappoint. On the Banks will gave more after the rankings come out on Tuesday.
Normally, I'm not one for a Politi article, but this was really enlightening. Makes me wonder what type of operation Flood was running! The details that Coach Ash sees as to what needs to change is incredible!
Our recruiting guru Scott Logan joins Mark Rogers to discuss the 2016 class and the start of the Chris Ash era at Rutgers. Watch this 7 minute video, as the two discuss Ash's potential in "fencing the garden" in the future with New Jersey talent.
Sports Illustrated's Thayer Evans reported this afternoon that Rutgers football coach Chris Ash has hired Toby Neinas as the new director of player personnel. Neinas worked with Ash at San Diego State from 2007-2008. He was most recently the special teams coordinator at Colorado for the past three seasons. He was also an defensive assistant at Temple from 2002-2006. Based on his title, the primary focus for Neinas under Ash will most likely be in player evaluation and recruiting. There has been no official announcement from the program as of yet.
Rutgers Football tweeted a second short video today showing players participating in offseason workouts, led by new strength and conditioning coach Kenny Parker. One highlight is of senior Darius Hamilton hard at work, a much welcomed sight for all Rutgers fans. Hopefully, the program continues to release these clips and even more of them once spring practice kicks off on March 24th.
Two Rutgers student-athletes earned weekly award recognition from the Big Ten Conference. Senior captain Scott Bieda was named the Big Ten Offensive Player of the Week, while redshirt freshman attacker Adam Charalambides was named Big Ten Freshman of the Week. Bieda set a career-high in points (nine), and tied a career-high in goals (five) in the 19-11 victory over St. John’s, as he totaled five goals, four assists and three ground balls. Bieda is the first Rutgers player to earn Big Ten Offensive Player of the Week honors. He was the last RU player to earn a conference Offensive Player of the Week recognition when he was named BIG EAST Offensive Player of the Week on April 28, 2014 after a five-point performance in a win over Georgetown. Charalambides made a big impact in his career debut, scoring six goals and adding an assist. The Ontario native was the first Rutgers freshman to score at least six goals in a game since 1984. He was only the fourth ever Rutgers freshman to score at least six goals in a game and the first ever Rutgers freshman to score that many in their first career game. His six goals were tied as the 5th most goals ever scored in a single game by a Rutgers player. This marked the first time a Rutgers player notched six goals in a game since Kory Kelly did it on March 16, 2010.
Rutgers football released this tweet and quick video today, showing players taking part in team workouts. New strength and conditioning coach Kenny Parker is front and center. Many of the players have raved about his philosophy and the new workouts they are doing. This quick video gives a taste for what they are like. You have to love the competition the new staff seems to be creating at every turn!
So over on Twitter, Jon Newman is running an informal up-or-down poll on Eddie's fate. Such polls - a simple yea or nay - certainly evoke a gladiatorial feeling, a moment to visualize the emperor on high, goblet of wine clenched in one fist, his other outstretched and ready to decide the gladiator's fate.
(Twitter, if you want to help a fella out with a quick photoshop, go for it!)
Anyway, I voted to keep Eddie. I don't necessarily think he's the right long-term choice for RU men's hoops, but I do think keeping him is the proper long term play. Like everything else, it's multi-faceted:
Partly, it's due to economics -- not having to eat another contract year is a huge deal when one of the main storylines this year is the improving financials in the athletic department.
Partly, it's due to a lack of interest (sorry Dave!). Football is the story this winter, and RU can be bad at basketball because football is dominating the conversation, and will continue to do so for the remainder of the year. Spring football will generate more news than basketball will.
Finally, and most fairly to Eddie, it's partly the impact of injuries and inexperience. With 3 big men out for the season, it's hard to compete. All reports since the Purdue debacle indicate this team isn't quitting on Eddie. That's a pretty interesting data point given how bad things have gotten. Keeping the players' focused is not a small accomplishment. That may earn him a do-over next season with the team he intended to put on the floor this season.
I think if Eddie does make it to next season, he gets there with a short rope. If it all goes south, Van Macon or Mike O'Koren can steer the ship into the dock and then go look for new jobs while Hobbs looks for a new coach armed with a good story to tell about how he turned around football first, and now his sights are set on hoops.
After a long wait, Rutgers has secured a commitment from Valparaiso (IN) K Jared Smolar. Smolar had PWO opportunities from B1G teams Penn State, Minnesota, and Purdue as well as scholarship offers from Arkansas State and Marshall. Smolar will compete for immediate playing time at kicker, punter, and KOS, as he is a very versatile player. Kudos to Vince Okruch on this commitment, as he stayed patient after unfortunate events and wound up with a very good kicker.