Starting one game and averaging 5.9 minutes, Lewis found the court as a freshman, but never found his rhythm on the court.
"I wasn't comfortable," Lewis said. "Last year was a good learning experience. I just think there's more work I need to do. I'm more used to college and everything. It was a big change."
Flash forward one year and Lewis feels like a different player when he suits up for the Jersey Shore Basketball League. Getting ready for his freshman season, Lewis played at the JSBL last year.
This year, he has Big East experience and a greater understanding of who he is as a player.
"I learned a lot," Lewis said. "To start, I just watched some of the veterans make the steps and I was following. It takes a lot to be a Big East basketball player.
"I feel pretty good. I think everything is starting to come together. I'm more comfortable."
A 6-foot-9 forward out of St. Frances Academy, Lewis checked in as a three-star recruit in the loaded Class of 2011 for the Scarlet Knights. With a year of experience under coach Mike Rice, Lewis feels ready to take the next step.
"I'm going to have a bigger role this year," Lewis said. "I'm ready to really step in there. I just can't wait for the season.
"Strength-wise, I'm not there yet. I still need to get a little bit stronger. That's not good enough yet."
Like the rest of the team, Lewis said he was sad to see Gilvydas Biruta transfer out of the program. But the loss of Biruta, he said, will not slow anything down.
"It's going to be fine," Lewis said. "I think everybody's going to play their role, step up to the competition. [Junior Wally Judge] is going to make a good atmosphere for Rutgers. He'll definitely light it up. He's a great player."
Lewis sat out of the JSBL Monday night after twisting his knee in warm-ups. He does not expect any lasting issues and chose not to play for precautionary reasons. In his freshman season, Lewis appeared in 18 games, scoring six points and grabbing 10 rebounds in 107 minutes.