Kadeem Jack Happy to be Red-shirting

PISCATAWAY, N.J. -- Rutgers freshman power forward Kadeem Jack acknowledges it has been hard red-shirting since he joined the Scarlet Knights in late December, but it hasn't changed his mind that taking a few offs was a good idea. Jack spoke to ScarletReport.com about his progress on the court and in the weight room, and why he hopes history repeats itself.

PISCATAWAY, N.J. – There is a piece of Kadeem Jack that wonders how the season would have unfolded if he played rather red-shirt after joining Rutgers in late December.

However, every morsel of Jack's 6-foot-9, 220-pound body believes he made the right decision to sit out rather than throw a year of eligibility away for 10 minutes a night in a league he is not physically ready to compete in.

"When I went to Rice (High), it was the same thing," Jack said. "I had to sit out the first year and I watched guys like (UConn's) Kemba Walker and(Miami's) Durand Scott. I was better off because I got a chance to learn all the plays, so I think this is a case of history repeating itself, where I'm going to come in and have everything down next season."

Jack takes part in every practice, usually playing center on the scout team defense, and spends plenty of time after practice working with the assistant coaches.

"We go through a lot of post moves, a lot of reaction moves, like when you feel something on your back, you know how to turn, where to turn," Jack said. "We do stuff with the pad where I catch the ball and I have to turn a direction depending where the player is facing, and now when to face up. Things like that.

"We do a lot of post moves, so the time next year comes, it will be second nature."

Jack, rated a four-star power forward by Scout.com, has been practicing with the Scarlet Knights since late December. At the time, Rutgers coach Mike Rice said Jack would red-shirt, and the plan was never altered.

The two big issues concerning Jack playing immediately was his knowledge of Rice's complex help defense, strength.

Red-shirting is helping in both instances. His bench press is up from 135 pounds to 225 pounds because of added strength and improved technique.

"I feel more comfortable doing things," Jack said. "When I came here, I was getting thrown around a lot. I didn't have that strong of a base, and the weight room helped out a lot.

"I'm just learning how to play first and think after because when I came here, I got a lot of stuff thrown onto me. I didn't get a chance to do a lot of things they did, like go over certain ways to guard certain screens. So, they taught me how to think and then play, and gradually everything will be second nature."

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