Commentary: First 100 Days Key for Jordan

Eddie Jordan is now 24 hours away from formally taking over a Rutgers basketball program at rock bottom. Jordan, who reached a five-year agreement with Rutgers Friday, will be the topic of a Board of Governors special meeting Tuesday afternoon with a tall task in front of him to rebuild the Scarlet Knights to what they were when he wore the uniform.

Thousands of books and even more web pages have advice for new executives to succeed in their first 100 days in office. Los Angeles Lakers assistant Eddie Jordan could read all of it and still not have an easy path to success as he takes over the reins of the Rutgers basketball program.

Jordan was one of the last men to find true success with Rutgers basketball, but things changed for the worse after his 1976 Final Four team and again after his short stint as an assistant in the 1980s.

Rutgers is nearing a decade without a winning record and 22 years removed from the NCAA tournament. If Jordan wants to change that, the rebuilding starts tomorrow and his first 100 days will be crucial to success.

Preserving the Roster

As important as it is to keep the roster as intact as possible, Jordan does not need any players that do not want to be there. The last thing Jordan needs is a roster full of another coach's players that wanted to go elsewhere.

Many will be excited and energized by the chance to play for a former NBA coach. Jordan's offense was good enough for Kobe Bryant to average 27.9 points per game and turn Gilbert Arenas into a superstar with the Washington Wizards.

Let the players that want to stay reap the rewards and those that want to leave do so. Things were not easy under coach Mike Rice and those that want a fresh start should get one.

Building a Staff

Jordan has recruiting covered with the smart play of keeping assistants Dave Cox and Van Macon on staff. They have ties to the areas Rutgers likes to hit hard and supplement Jordan's New Jersey and Washington, D.C. ties.

Jordan and Cox both come with Princeton offense experience and he has NBA ties to finish the staff off in style despite limited resources. Keep in mind that Jordan has been an NBA-only guy for 20 years and there will be an adjustment period back to college, where the 3-point line was a new phenomenon the last time he coached.

Embrace the Rebuilding Process

Like Michael Caine says, the reason we fall is to learn to pick ourselves back up. Rutgers fell as hard as possible in a dark month, firing Rice in scandal and losing one of the most internally beloved athletic directors in the country.

The defections, the decommitments and the year in conference limbo should be welcomed with open arms. Whatever Rutgers did with its last four coaches did not work, so it is time to change the game and take a step back.

Hustle, Loyalty, Respect

Rutgers basketball should be remembered for the greats that went through program, not the recent embarrassments. Rutgers basketball made legends like Jim Valvano, Dick Vitale and David Stern what they are today. Jordan was a game-changer in the Golden Age of Rutgers basketball and will do everything in his power to win back the respect of the community after Rice's downfall.

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