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Jonathan Laurent Reflects on Sophomore Season for Rutgers, Changing Roles

Jonathan Laurent did not repeat his freshman season, but looks ahead to the future after a bench role under coach Steve Pikiell in Big Ten play.

While Jonathan Laurent called his sophomore season “frustrating at times,” it ended well in Washington, D.C. The sophomore and bright spot of the 2015-16 season

Laurent scored seven points in 27 minutes in his second Big Ten tournament. In the locker room after a second-round loss to Northwestern, Laurent wants to earn back his starting spot the hard way.

“I just tried to keep my head up at all times,” Laurent said. “It's going to push me more this offseason to work harder and get better. I'm learning a new position. It's not always easy. The coaching staff pushes you. They want you to be on top of everything. There are a lot of things I learned this year and a lot of things I'm going to take into the offseason. I'll be ready for it.”

Laurent's minutes dropped by 39 percent as a sophomore. His scoring decreased by five points per game and halved his rebounding numbers.

Numbers, again, do not tell the entire story because Laurent's lessons took place off the court. After he used raw talent for a solid freshman season, Laurent developed mentally in year one under Steve Pikiell. When asked how he feels about a junior year at Rutgers, Laurent said, “I feel good about it. Now I know what the coaches expect of me. Even if I go home, I go work out, I know exactly what to work on coming back for next year. I know what position I'm going to be in and where they're going to put me.”

Laurent talked of postseason tournaments for Rutgers in his final interview as a sophomore. Change is coming in Pikiell's second offseason, but Laurent said he wants to embrace it.

“I felt like we did a great job of holding together,” Laurent said. “There were a lot of new faces on the team, a lot different from last year.”

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