Rutgers Prepares for Surging Monmouth and Its Eccentric Bench

PISCATAWAY, N.J. -- Rutgers basketball hopes to take advantage of extra preparation days after its blowout loss to George Washington. The Scarlet Knights and coach Eddie Jordan made multiple adjustments in preparation for Monmouth, which likely takes the court at the RAC Sunday as a heavy favorite.

The Headline – The challenges continue for a banged up Rutgers basketball team that could take the court Sunday as double-digit underdogs to Monmouth.

Rutgers (4-6) returns home after an 83-49 blowout loss at George Washington with extra time to prepare for the hottest story in college basketball.

“We’ve had a week long of practice by the time we play on Sunday,” said coach Eddie Jordan. “Our job is to keep them engaged and energetic and positive. That’s what we’ve done. That’s what they’ve been. We’ve been looking forward. When you’re playing four freshmen and two sophomores, I know what to expect. I know what’s out there.

“I’ve said before, this is no hit to our freshmen, we’re not Kentucky freshmen. We’re developing. We’ve got a good karma about ourselves. We’ll still hit some bumps in the road. Right now it’s just about learning and growing.”

Rutgers plays Monmouth (7-3) with impact forward DeShawn Freeman still unavailable.

“We miss DeShawn but we can’t use it as an excuse,” Jordan said. “He’s big part of what we do. He’s a veteran and getting a feeling for Division I basketball, so we’ll see where he is in two more weeks.”

Worth Noting – Without Freeman available for at least two more weeks, Rutgers reverted to elements of its Princeton-style attack from last season.

“It was really easy for me to adjust to,” said sophomore D.J. Foreman. “… It allows your off-ball game to be [executed] easier.”

Quote of the Day – “I love my staff. I think we’re doing a good job. We’re recruiting talented, dedicated student athletes. It’s a tough sell sometimes but it’s been like that at Rutgers for a long time. We got good players at the end of last year. We got DeShawn. We got Omari [Grier]. That’s why you have a second signing period.” – Jordan discusses recruiting after no early-signed prospects.

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