Results turned out mixed last week, with a brutal blowout loss to a reeling Notre Dame squad followed by an impressive win over Marquette. In the Notre Dame loss, Quincy Douby scored 27 points but Marquis Webb was the only other Scarlet Knight in double figures. In the Marquette win, Douby had 32, and Ollie Bailey, Jimmie Ingils, and Anthony Farmer all finished with 10 or more points.
A big key will be how the other scholarship players step up. For Ollie Bailey, this is another opportunity to prove he can contribute -- after starting last season as a freshman, he's been buried on the bench as a sophomore. Ingils and Jaron Griffin are also looking to get more minutes and take advantage of them.
The problem is that the team is really limited in terms of its depths now. It's one of those teams where walk-ons can expect to play if there's any kind of foul trouble, as was the case when three were on the court at the same time against Notre Dame.
Notes and Quotes
--You don't often expect a meaningful game between two conference foes that are a combined 7-15 in league play -- but that's exactly what Rutgers has when it faces St. John's Wednesday night in Piscataway.
In the wild and whacky world of the new Big East, only 12 of the 16 teams in the conference get to go to Madison Square Garden for the Big East Tournament next month.
Staring play this week, Rutgers, which snapped a three-game losing streak by beating Marquette on Sunday, is tied with Louisville for the 11th and 12th spots, at 4-7. St. John's is a game behind at 3-7 -- and apparently sinking fast. The two teams play twice in the closing weeks of the regular season.
The Scarlet Knights, just 9-18 at the time, went to MSG last year and beat Notre Dame in the first round of the tournament -- before their season ended with a loss to Syracuse in Round 2.
After playing St. John's, the Knights travel to Tampa to play league cellar dweller South Florida.
--Their coach was stuck in Ohio, having been inducted into the Kent State Hall of Fame Saturday night before not being able to get back to New Jersey because of the Blizzard of '06. That storm was raging outside. But, regardless of all that, Rutgers needed a win Sunday -- and got one.
Big East scoring leader Quincy Douby scored 32 points, Anthony Farmer had 14 points and six assists despite playing with a bruised right shoulder, Ollie Bailey had 12 points and seven rebounds and Jimmie Inglis came off the bench to chip in with 10 points to power the Scarlet Knights to a 91-84 win over Marquette.
With coach Gary Waters unable to make it back, assistant Fred Hill Jr. ran the show Sunday -- and came away with a win as Rutgers used a 15-7 run to break out of a 65-65 tie.
Even though 7,211 tickets were sold for the game against a Big East newcomer, the school announced 2,012 had fought their way through the biggest snowstorm of the year to watch Rutgers win for only the second time in their last eight games and improve to 14-10, 4-7 in the Big East.
--Guard Quincy Douby, the Big East scoring leader, had his third 30-point game of the season and his second in a Big East game this month when he tallied 32 against Marquette Sunday. Douby had 36 against St. Mary's (Ca.), Dec. 3 and 41 against Syracuse Feb. 1.
--The 91 points scored by Rutgers on Sunday were the most by the Scarlet Knights in a Big East game since Jan. 9, 1999.
--Rutgers had 19 assists -- its high for a Big East game this year -- and only nine turnovers Sunday. The turnovers matched the Scarlet Knights' season low.
--Douby's three blocked shots Sunday moved him into 18th place on the school's all-time list (with 56).
--Rutgers has five games left in the regular season -- two against both St. John's and South Florida and one with Georgetown.
--Ollie Bailey moved into the starting lineup for the depleted Scarlet Knights and came through with 12 points and seven rebounds in his 28 minutes.
QUOTE TO NOTE: "We were at a point (in the second half) where I looked out on the floor, we had three walk-ons on the floor. When you have that, it's hard. It's really hard." -- Rutgers coach Gary Waters musing on the Notre Dame loss in the Newark Star-Ledger.
PLAYER ROTATION: Usual Starters -- G Anthony Farmer, G Quincy Douby, F Marquis Webb, F Ollie Bailey, C Byron Joynes. Key Subs -- G/F Jaron Griffin, C Jimmie Ingils, F/C Frank Russell, G Shayle Keating.
Notre Dame 90, Rutgers 63
Rutgers 91, Marquette 84
vs. St. John's, Wednesday, Feb. 15.
at South Florida, Saturday, Feb. 18.
at Georgetown, Wednesday, Feb. 22.
vs. South Florida, Sunday, Feb. 26.
KEYS: The Scarlet Knights broke open the offensive floodgates against Marquette, but the odds of that continuing are small. Against both St. John's and South Florida, even a little support for Quincy Douby could be enough, since neither the Red Storm nor the Bulls have found it easy to put points on the board.
--F J.R. Inman is probably out for the season after breaking his right fibula against Seton Hall. The injury is expected to sideline him for four to six weeks.
--F Adrien Hill underwent arthroscopic surgery on his left knee on Feb. 2. He is expected to miss the rest of the season.
--G Anthony Framer injured his shoulder in practice last Tuesday after colliding with a teammate during practice. He dressed for the Notre Dame game, but did not play. He came back to score 14 points and dish out six assists against Marquette.
|Big East Standings|