Corey Sanders wants year two to be about redemption, and it starts tomorrow night against Molloy. Unlike last year where Sanders sat out the opener because of a self-imposed penalty, he tips off tomorrow night as the sophomore centerpiece of the Rutgers back court.
Sanders cited unfinished business as the motivator for his return. And business about to pick it up.
“I'm so ready [for year two],” Sanders said. “I'm so anxious … just to get back out there. Last year was hard for us and I just see so many things that we've improved on with new guys and new coaches and new players. Everything is just new, so I feel like it's a new season for me. I'm just ready to get out there and start it.”
Sanders jumped off the page statistically with 15.9 points, 4.3 assists and 1.8 steals per game. The retooled Sanders, and Rutgers game plan, will be more valuable than individual statistics.
“I want to come out from the jump and just be aggressive and be ready and show everybody what we've been working towards,” Sanders said. “I know the fans want to see that too, so that's what we're going to do from day one.
“ … [We are] much more exciting, much more integrity, much more energy, defense is up to par. Things that we didn't see last year or a couple of years ago. … That's the key to winning.”
For a seasoned player like graduate transfer CJ Gettys, Friday feels like more than another game. After a senior year that almost did not happen, the 7-foot steamroller won a starting spot for tipoff.
“I put in a lot of work preseason here,” he said. “We've done a lot to get ready for the upcoming season. I think this is a great group of guys. I think we're ready to turn the program around.”
Gettys may not be physically ready for a full role, but he feels close.
“I've been in better shape,” he said. “Me coming from a [Rick] Pitino system, you know how that goes. I'm slowly getting there. I plan to be there fully by Big Ten play. I'm excited. I'm just ready to start playing.”