Laurent answered the call and then some with 13 points and 15 rebounds as a key spark in the go-ahead run in the first half.
“Coach always wanted me to come off the bench and be aggressive,'' Laurent said. "But I think now I have to step up way more because we don't have those guys. I just feel like my job is bigger now and I have to fill in that role.''
Fortunately for Rutgers, Foreman will be back in the starting rotation against Indiana, but the Hoosiers size creates a greater challenge for undersized post players like Laurent.
“I just want to play great competition,” Laurent said. “It’s the best basketball conference in the country. It’s going to be high-level, high-intensity, power league. I’m expecting a lot, so I’m just trying to get ready for that.”
Laurent played forward as a freshman and sophomore before he moved to the wing at Orlando (Fla.) Dr. Phillips. His post experience helps, but it is far from what he expected as a Big Ten basketball player at 6-foot-6.
“I thought here I was going to be playing the wing but things happen,” Laurent said. “You can’t control it. You just have to do what you got to do to survive.”