Rutgers Hoops Hits Chicago for Media Day

Rutgers coach Eddie Jordan began his Big Ten media day experience in front of the podium, where he addressed low national expectations and the first year for the Scarlet Knights in a new conference.

Opening Statement -- "First of all, we're honored to be invited into the conference. We know where we are as far as the 14-team league, and again, it's going to be a great challenge for us, and we just hope that we can be competitive and represent our school, our university and our community in a respectful way."

Question -- You've coached some teams in the NBA that have had high expectations, and now coaching a college basketball team that's had some struggles recently, can you talk about the differences and similarities of coaching teams that are at opposite ends of the spectrum?

Eddie Jordan -- "First of all, it's running the entire program. There's a lot more responsibility on the head coach, and we all know, and yet at the same time you are teaching fundamentals on every level, and for us, it's a process for us. We know where we're coming from. We thought even last year, we thought the process was successful, the first stage of it. We were picked last for our conference. We were seventh. People thought we would win eight or nine games. We won 12. So we felt our kids competed with first-class, and that was the first part of the process, and that was successful. Doesn't matter what the record said at that point. We understand we're going to a tougher league, and the second part of the process is to get better players, which we think we did, to be competitive, and to meet the opponent eye to eye and to play with harmony and effort. That's the second part of the process, and we think we're doing okay with that part."

Question -- Do you feel like most of your fans and just people in New Jersey in general realize that you've moved leagues?

Eddie Jordan -- "You know, all summer it's been talked about, been read about, and just like our football program, I don't think it resonates until we actually see Rutgers against Michigan, against Penn State, against Indiana. I think that's when it really resonates. But again, our football team has done a great job. The Penn State-Rutgers game had a great viewership, and the energy and the anticipation is there on our campus and our community, but for the larger community, recruiting base, I don't think it will resonate until we actually get on the floor and see the opponent eye to eye and people can see that."

Question -- Being in your third conference in three seasons, has it been a challenge to study opponents or developing an identity as a program?

Eddie Jordan -- "Well, after 20-some-odd years in the NBA and coming to Rutgers last spring, two springs ago, I saw our kids in the spring workouts, I saw our kids in the summer workouts, I saw our kids in the preseason practices, and I kept saying, I just need to see the opponent, and I need to see what we're going against. I'm used to NBA teams, and you're right, I understood what the league and the culture was about. Coming into our non-conference schedule, I said, we need to get better. We need to get better shooters, even non-conference teams had their system down and had been running their system for years, and we were new. We were under a new system, under a new coach, and same this year. I've seen our kids, we have a new group of players, we're young, and I'm anxious to see -- obviously we have a non-conference schedule in front of us, but I'm anxious to see our Big Ten opponents eye to eye, and I know it's going to be a great challenge, but that's why you're in the business."

Stay tuned to for more coverage from basketball media day with's Simone Scott on scene in the Windy City.

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