Rutgers Center Greg Lewis Maximized Minutes With Toughness

PISCATAWAY, N.J. -- A career filled with injury trials did not stop senior Greg Lewis from a high-value December on the hardcourt. Most recently with 13 points and nine boards in 30 minutes against Indiana, Lewis stepped up his play as the lone healthy center on the roster.

Ice on both over-taxed knees after another war in the paint, fifth-year Rutgers senior Greg Lewis is aware that many more are on the way. Lewis logged a physical 30 minutes in the 79-72 loss to Indiana and he may have to do it by himself 17 more times before the Big Ten tournament.

No Shaquille Doorson, no Ibrahima Diallo and no DeShawn Freeman put added responsibilities for Lewis, who knows all about missed time for injuries. Instead of using the injuries as an excuse, Lewis said he has to simply prepare for the next game.

"It's a lot more basketball, I'm going to have to get used to it," Lewis said on the limited options. "No excuses for the [rebounding problems]. That's the only thing I could think of -- maybe fatigue."

Fatigue may be a concern for post players but Lewis turned the injury concerns into the best four-game stretch of his career. 

Since Rutgers lost Diallo, Lewis upped his production with 7.8 points and 9.8 rebounds over 28.3 minutes per game in his last four outings. Before the injuries hit Rutgers, Lewis averaged 2.8 points, 2.8 rebounds and 16.3 minutes per game on his career.

"We’ve sung the praises of Greg every single game, every year," said coach Eddie Jordan. "What he gives us, is not on the stat sheet. He’s done some great work done there. He keeps us anchored defensively, he talks, he call commands, he gets the guys where they are supposed to be defensively. He just helps everyone else. Every film session, I tell our team ‘look at what Greg’s done, he’s helping you Corey (Sanders), he’s helping you Mike (Williams), helping you D.J..’ We’ve got to help him too. He’s been a solid anchor for us.”

Lewis manages his fouls well with increased minutes because, without him, Rutgers would have only D.J. Foreman and Jonathan Laurent in the paint.

"It was tricky," Lewis said on foul management against Indiana. "They've got some good players that they feed a lot on their four out and one in. It's tricky. I just try to play as smart as I could."

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