New Coaching Style on Display in Opener

PISCATAWAY, N.J. – Rutgers was treated to a significantly calmer bench demeanor with the debut of coach Eddie Jordan Friday night in the win over FAMU. In his first game, Jordan gave an in-depth look at his coaching style in leading the Scarlet Knights.

PISCATAWAY, N.J. – Beyond the obvious decrease in courtside antics, Rutgers has a new basketball style and changed product under coach Eddie Jordan. Rutgers may have to draw in the reins against tougher opponents, but Jordan gave his impact players chances to play to their strength.

Rutgers did not put on the most disciplined performance in its 92-84 opening night victory, but Jordan let his players run loose.

"As much as I want them to be disciplined, whatever they do well, be great at it," Jordan said. "There were some things I will probably want to draw the reigns back a little bit, but I want them to feel good about playing for us."

Jordan gave junior guard Myles Mack a green light to play his own style offensively and defensively. Mack's style led to an offense deviant from the Princeton backgrounds of Jordan and David Cox.

The backdoor cuts, ball screens and discipline were inconsistent, but the result was the most points scored in a Rutgers season opener.

"I'm a guard, so of course I'm going to love the freedom that he gives us," Mack said. "But we don't want too much freedom because we can get out of control sometimes. We take the freedom that he gives us and just run our stuff."

The freedom resulted in 19 points and six turnovers for Mack, who made up for the latter defensively. Mack stole the ball six times, four of which came when sprinting up from behind in transition.

"I want our team to play and feel good about doing what they do best," Jordan said. "Myles, even though it's not a traditional way of guarding people, he gets steals from behind, in the frontcourt, the backcourt. He has a knack."

The Jordan style allowed impact players Mack, Kadeem Jack and J.J. Moore to control the tempo of the game and step out offensively. The next test, however, comes against a significant upgrade in talent.

The Scarlet Knights (1-0) travel to UAB Monday for the first road game of the season.

"All our guys felt free, they felt good about playing with each other, playing the style of basketball they're playing," Jordan said. "That's creating a culture here. I want our guys to feel good, to like doing it, enjoy doing it and get better at it."

For fans, however, a quiet coach on the sidelines will be an adjustment.

"He's just cool, laid-back and he knows what he's talking about, Moore said. "He had a couple of years in the league. … He's coached some of the great ones. Just going out there and seeing him on the sideline, him knowing what he's doing on the court, it just helps us. We know that he has our back in the game."

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