In the locker room Sunday afternoon, Rutgers did not act like a team that lost at home to Monmouth minutes beforehand.
Led by head coach Eddie Jordan’s message after the 73-67 loss, Rutgers left the RAC proud of the effort in spite of a depleted bench and sixth loss in seven games.
“I said that your effort and your harmony was at an all-time season high,” Jordan said. “We gave great effort. We shared the ball. We tried to stay organized, especially in the second half. We made a lot of adjustments since we don’t have three bigs who are very important to our success and our rotation.”
The effort even drew comparisons to last season’s stunning upset over undefeated Wisconsin.
“This is one of the best times I’ve seen us play in a long time since probably when we beat Wisconsin,” said sophomore guard Mike Williams, who scored 15 points. “It was similar to that just the ball didn’t go in the way you want it to.”
In reality, however, Rutgers basketball sits at 4-7 with only two games left before a brutal Big Ten stretch.
The Scarlet Knights open Big Ten play against powerhouse Indiana and are unlikely to have any of their three injured forwards back by then.
“[Fatigue] is probably a factor but I didn’t see it,” Jordan said. “I didn’t see it in their heart. I didn’t see it in their eyes. I didn’t see it in the effort that they had. If they were tired, they still gave 100 percent effort.”