Jordan Sends Message with Rotation

PISCATAWAY, N.J. – Rutgers coach Eddie Jordan, in what became his third straight loss, used Thursday night against No. 22 Memphis to send a message to his players. Jordan went in-depth post game about the message he wanted to send and how he did it.

Rutgers used the same five players for 10 straight minutes to close out the 64-59 loss to No. 22 Memphis. Coach Eddie Jordan had no injury issues, or foul issues, and went with his rotation to send a message.

Myles Mack, Malick Kone, Craig Brown, Junior Etou and Kadeem Jack were the only five to see the court in the decisive minutes. Jordan did it for trust purposes.

"It gets to a point where you are just going to play the guys you really, really trust," Jordan said. "The guys who give great effort, the guys who are going to give the effort physically, the effort intelligently and the effort emotionally to stay in the game and do things right. That is why I stayed with them. Those guys gave me that. That is the message I am sending."

Rutgers (10-16, 4-10) may have worn down in the end, but the move worked. The Scarlet Knights out-scored Memphis 20-15 to close out the game.

Jack, who played primarily at center, excelled with 22 points and 10 rebounds – his sixth career double double.

"When you play hard, you share," Jordan said. "When you have some intelligence out there, good things happen. We got to the free throw line, but we missed some layouts we would like to have and some free throws. I like the way our personality was for the last 25 minutes."

McDonald's All-American Wally Judge came off the bench for disciplinary reasons. He saw just 16 minutes and made two shots.

Captain Greg Lewis saw eight minutes as the starting center before a heavy dose of Jack. Guard transfers D'Von Campbell and Kerwin Okoro did not play.

"I wanted to use every guy," Jordan said. "I wanted our guys to be a part of growing and coming together. But you put the rope out there, and guys who don't tow the rope the right way it's a short rotation. Again, it is trust and the guys who are going to do what we want to be done."

Multi-year starter Jerome Seagears only played five minutes as the backup to give Mack rest. He did not play in the second half.

"I'd rather not comment on that," Jordan said on Seagears. "I just like the way we finished up."

Jordan's message hit home for the players he rewarded as well. Kone logged a career-high 29 minutes and his best game of the season. The junior provided hustle plays, 10 points, six rebounds and two steals.

"It does mean something that coach Jordan trusts me," Kone said. "I work very hard. I want to win, and I try to play very tough defense. It's about wanting to win more games."

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