Rutgers Group Starts Sloppy in Shore League

BELMAR, N.J. — The first game of the Verizon Fios Jersey Shore Basketball League kicked off last night at St. Rose, but it did not go as planned for the Rutgers group playing for the Gutter Cleaners. The Cleaners lost to the Trailers 104-85. After the loss, spoke with multiple Scarlet Knights about reactions to their first organized game together.

BELMAR, N.J. — The way freshman guard Jerome Seagears sees it, they needed a beat-down like they received last night in the inaugural game of the 2011 Jersey Shore summer league.

Trailing by as much as 38 points at one instance, the Gutter Cleaners, featuring seven Scarlet Knights, lost 104-85 to a more experienced team that controlled the tempo from the opening tip.

"Definitely a growing pain, but it's a lot better to go through this now than during the season," said incoming freshman Jerome Seagears, who led the team with 17 points. "I think we're going to be better as time goes on. We need to get to know each other more."

The victorious team, the Trailers, had more experienced college players, including Dan Werner and Blake Hamilton.

Werner, a member of Florida's 2007 national championship team, plays professionally in Europe and demonstrated the best long-range shot of anyone on the court. Hamilton earned the Northeast Conference Player of the Year in 2005 as a senior with Monmouth.

"This is a different level of competition," said incoming freshman Myles Mack, who scored 14 points and dished out six assists. "It was really intense, but I know we can get it together. Jerome and I worked well together in the fourth [quarter]. We have to build on that and learn from this."

Seagears said he felt unprepared for the game Thursday, but vowed it will not happen again.

"I didn't know who they were at all," he said. "They were talented. You can't take your opponent for granted. We're going to get it together and come back strong Tuesday though.

"We have so much talent but we have to put it all together. That's what's huge about playing in this league. Once we put it all together, we're going to be tough. We're going to be that wolf pack."

It was not all ugly for the Gutter Cleaners, however.

Kansas State transfer Wally Judge scored 11 points and had six rebounds in his first organized appearance with other Scarlet Knights. He displayed tremendous jumping and rebounding ability, but struggled with fouls.

They outscored their opponent in the fourth quarter and cut a 34-point deficit to 19 before the game concluded.

"We just picked it up," Seagears said. "We were getting in more of a groove, more of a comfort. We realized we weren't playing and just turned it on."

Junior Austin Johnson started for the Gutter Cleaners, but neither Austin Carroll nor Elijah Carter played last night. Carroll sat on the bench in street clothes and Carter was in Newark with close friend Kyrie Irving to enjoy the NBA Draft.

The Gutter Cleaners, joined by Carter, return to the court Tuesday at 8:45 at St. Rose's in Belmar, N.J.

"It's a good learning experience," said incoming freshman forward Derrick Randall. "Rome wasn't built in a day. I know we're going to do way better than we did. This is how it's going to be in college. We have to get used to that."

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