Analysis: Trending at the Jersey Shore

BELMAR, N.J. -- The Rutgers-led Gutter Cleaners improved to 3-4 after Tuesday's 111-105 win against Asbury Park Recreation at the Verizon Fios Jersey Shore League. It is enough time for trends to develop, and analyzes what is transpiring, and how it can translate into the 2011-12 season.

BELMAR, N.J. – The Rutgers-led Gutter Cleaners continued its improvement in the Verizon Fios Jersey Shore Summer League, and Tuesday night they beat Asbury Park Recreation 111-105 at St. Rose High School. Rather than breakdown each player and how they did in this game, a different approach is in order to offer insight into how the team is developing, and some of the trends being established.

  • With the talented freshman, Rutgers coach Mike Rice should have no problem going 10 or 11 deep during the season.

  • At this point, Derrick Randall is markedly ahead of Greg Lewis from a physical standpoint, and from an ability to be active as a rebounder.

  • The team aspect is developing as they are 3-4, which is a nice comeback after an 0-3 start. They are starting to rotate on defense and also understand where to double team. Closing out on shooters is the biggest area in need of improvement (hey, it's a summer league so don't read too much into it) but they are sharing the ball very well on the offensive side.

  • The talent upgrade from the last few seasons is remarkable, and gives Rutgers a chance to make noise in the Big East, if not in 2011-12, but definitley by 2012-13.

  • In the three games (all wins) I attended, point guard Elijah Carter is the most surprising player. He has size (6-foot-2) and strength, drives to the basket, can finish in traffic and has shown consistency on his jump shot.

    Carter's shot is a bit unorthodox, and may be reworked by the staff once Sept. 1 rolls around, but I anticipate him being a bigger factor than I thought he would be, just based on his ability to score and his physical strength.

    He also has a knack for making big shots late in games, including a 3-pointer with 1:04 to play to give Rutgers a six-point lead and then going 4 for 4 on free throws in the final 40 seconds.
    He finished with 27 points.

  • It didn't take long for teams to learn not to leave center Wally Judge matched up 1-on-1 in the low post. He is now getting double teamed when he catches the ball with his back to the basket, and that should help his passing.

    Judge is quick to get up and down on rebounds, and goes after the ball hard.
    He finished with nine points and 14 rebounds.

  • Power forward Derrick Randall is a natural rebounder, which is something the Scarlet Knights desperately need. He is strong and should be able to handle a lot of the pounding, although he said he needs to get stronger. He reads the ball off the rim well, and often grabs it at a high point.

    He is not afraid to be physical on defense, but needs to develop his right hand on the offensive end. He rarely uses it, and he knows it.

    "You can cut off my right arm and it wouldn't change how I play," he said.
    He scored 10 points and had 13 rebounds.

  • Point guard Myles Mack can get a shot off quickly, can manipulate his body with very good control when driving to the basket and likes to take big shots. Mack's issue will be his size (he is 5-8 to 5-9) and whether he can survive in the Big East.

    That said, he is mentally tough, very quick, knows how to win and even when not playing particularly well against APR, he hit a few big jumpers down the stretch to allow Rutgers to win.
    He scored 14 points.

  • Combo guard Austin Carroll is a nifty passer, often finding guys open and being able to get the ball to the quickly. He is also showing confidence putting the ball on the floor and driving to the basket, and if he can add that to his game this season, it will open up his jump shooting by forcing teams to respect his ability to dribble-drive.

    He scored nine points.

  • Junior forward/center Austin Johnson is posting up and getting good position almost every trip up court, and is comfortable going to his left or right.
    He scored 14 points and had 12 rebounds.

  • Combo guard Jerome Seagears shoots the ball well and consistent from the outside, but can also showing good ball-handling skills. He hasn't shown the vision of Carter or Mack yet, but he can beat pressure and remain in control.
    He scored 14 points.

  • Malick Kone added nine points and Greg Lewis scored three. They likely will be a few-minutes-a-game type of players as freshmen as they develop their raw games.

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