99 in 99: #98 Rutgers Scarlet Knights

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Rutgers basketball

The college football season is right around the corner as camps are opening all across the country.  So what better time to start our team-by-team college basketball previews.  Yes, college BASKETBALL.  The season is still well over three months from tipping off but I have a Brett Favre-sized itch and dammit, I am going to scratch it.

I will be ranking the top 99 teams in reverse power ranking order revealing a team per day leading right into the start of the season.  Those 99 teams will be chosen from the 72 power conference teams and top 27 mid-majors.  If you missed the team that received the dubious honor of being 99 out of 99 from yesterday, check it out by clicking here.

By: David Kay

Rutgers Scarlet Knights (14th, 5-13 in Big East, 15-17 overall)

Projected Depth Chart
F/C: Austin Johnson (So)/Gilvydas Burita (Fr)
PF: Jonathan Mitchell (Sr)/Robert Lumpkins (Sr)/Tomasz Kokosinski (Jr)
SF: Dane Miller (So)/Mike Poole (Fr)
G: James Beatty (Sr)/Austin Carroll (Fr)
PG: Mike Coburn (Sr)/Tyree Graham (Jr)

Gone: G-Mike Rosario (transfer-Florida), C-Hamady Ndiaye, F/C-Gregory Echenique (transfer-Creighton), F-Patrick Jackson (transfer-Kent State), C-Brian Okam (transfer-Appalachian State), SG-Muhamed Hasani (left team)

Mike Rosario2010-2011 Outlook:
Let’s recap the past eight months at Rutgers…  Big man Gregory Echenique decides to transfer after suffering a season ending detached retina injury (Ouch.)  Then the Scarlet Knights finished with their eighth straight losing conference record.  A couple weeks after the season, head coach Fred Hill was shown the door after an incident during a Rutgers baseball game when he went on a profanity-filled tirade.  Lastly, their star player Mike Rosario decided to transfer.  To paraphrase the movie BASEketball, “it appears to be raining s#!% on the Rutgers basketball program.”

Add in the graduation of shot blocking force Hamady Ndiaye and new coach Mike Rice has some serious work to do in turning Rutgers around.  Florida transfer Jonathan Mitchell played well in his first season in Jersey while freshman wing player Dane Miller showed potential as well.  Outside of those two, nobody on their roster is going to strike any fear into the opposing team.  Depth will especially be an issue for Rice as the Knights bench consists of four newcomers and a junior who has logged just 14 minutes since arriving at Rutgers.

UPDATE (9/3) Expected back-up guard Tyree Graham will undergo knee surgery and though no timetable has been released for his recovery, he could miss the entire season leaving the Scarlet Knights thin at guard.

Player to Watch: Miller
The sophomore wing player showed steady progress last season scoring in double digits in 13 of the Knights’ 18 Big East games.  Miller was second among conference freshman in scoring and rebounding, and third in assists, steals, and blocks.  He is a high-flying wing player who excels in transition and brings some athleticism to the team.  With three of their starters entering their final year of eligibility, Miller is not only the key to this season, but also the future of Rutgers basketball.

Key Non-Conference Games:
11/21 vs. Miami (FL)
12/11 vs. Auburn (SEC/Big East Invitational at Pitt)
12/28 vs. North Carolina (at Madison Square Garden)

Other 99 in 99’s:
#99 Iowa Hawkeyes

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Comments

  1. Patrick Herbert says

    The addition of Steve Lavin to the Big East in the borough of Queens should stifle Rutgers’ ability to recruit in the New York metro area. He is a magnetic personality who has many scholarships to offer in the near future.

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