Ailing Rutgers Basketball Returns against No. 9 Iowa

PISCATAWAY, N.J. -- A struggling Rutgers basketball team faces an even bigger challenge tonight after the 50-point Monday home loss to Purdue. How much can pride and effort propel an undersized and under-manned squad against the surging ninth-ranked Iowa Hawkeyes?

After D.J. Foreman suggested prayer as preparation for tonight’s battle with No. 9 Iowa, the hopeful return of forward Jonathan Laurent may not be enough to close the 21-point spread.

The injury concerns for Rutgers could be at an all-time worse, but the key for coach Eddie Jordan is consistent effort on the court. Jordan credits his players for not giving up so far.

“We didn’t give up tonight,” Jordan said after the historic loss 50-point loss to No. 22 Purdue. “Sometimes it appears that way. They had a center that knocked down two three pointers. What are you going to do against that? They have something going good and that’s not his game. Our center is not coming out to guard that no matter what the score is. Our team is not giving up. I say it because it’s the truth. I’d be the first one to say it if they were giving up, believe me.”

Freshman guard Corey Sanders again leads Rutgers into battle. Post struggles and a winless start to conference play did not stop the freshman phenom from a strong start to his career.

Sanders leads Big Ten freshmen in scoring (14.2 per game) and steals (1.5 per game). He leads Rutgers in both categories and remains publicly upbeat about his situation.

“I came in here to build a program and turn it around and it’s not going to happen in one year,” Sanders said Monday night.

Rutgers hopes to have Laurent (concussion) back tonight. Starting center Greg Lewis (knee) is limited to roughly 20 minutes per night for the rest of his Rutgers career. Forwards DeShawn Freeman (knee), Ibrahima Diallo (foot) and Shaquille Doorson (foot) are out for the season.


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