The Headline – While Rutgers coach Steve Pikiell's focus is on Wednesday against Michigan, Tuesday's pre-practice interview was his first chance to discuss the move to adidas in detail.
Pikiell, who is normally reserved in discussing non-basketball topics, jumped at the chance to praise the move.
“I'm just thrilled,” Pikiell said. “We want to be one of those elite teams. Now we're with adidas, we're in elite company there. It's 10 teams with adidas and we're going to be one of their marquee teams here. Excited about that. It just goes to show you, too, where Rutgers athletics is going. They saw a great thing in us and they signed on. I think that's exciting. It's exciting for our program. I know it's exciting for the whole athletic department.”
Asked if adidas provides a recruiting advantage, Pikiell responded with “absolutely.”
“Any time you can be an elite program within any of these sneaker companies, I think that's very important,” Pikiell said. “We're one of a few. Adidas is a great brand. We're excited to be partnering up with them. I'm glad they saw excitement in Rutgers athletics.”
Worth Noting – Rutgers played the toughest Big Ten schedule so far in conference play according to Ken Pom.
“We had a lot of road games this year but that's just how they set it up,” said guard Corey Sanders. “I don't have a problem traveling. I like going to arenas and stuff like that It's just a good experience, I think. We're in one of the best conferences in the world. I just take it how it is. I don't really complain too much about the schedule.”
Quote of the Day – “He's been better in practice. He got through that injury and he's playing with good confidence. He's been playing at good pace out there. I'm happy to have him back at full speed.” – Pikiell on Nigel Johnson.