Corey Chandler: RU's Most Thrilling Freshman

19.5 points per game. That's what Phil "The Thrill" Sellers averaged his freshman year at Rutgers, en route to a 4-year career that put him atop the all-time scoring list at RU. Corey Chandler's RU career is just 11 games old, but it's already obvious that he's the most gifted player offensively on the team, and perhaps the most dominant freshman to wear a Rutgers uniform since Phil Sellers.

Corey Chandler was not a happy young man last night. Sure, he had just led Rutgers in scoring with 23 points, and in rebounds with 8, but he and his teammates just went down to defeat at the hands of the number 1 team in the country, and to him, that is all that matters. Going right at Wayne Ellington, and more often than not giving him more than he could handle, was small consolation. The young man wants to win, and one gets the sense that even if he were to lead the nation in scoring, it would matter little if his team was not winning.

When asked about his match-up with Ty Lawson and Wayne Ellington, and the potential ramifications of playing well against them, he said that "I never looked at it that way. I'm not out here trying to score points, I'm trying to win. When I'm scoring, it may look like I'm trying to make a statement, but I'm just trying to win. The points come from my desire and my passion to want to win".

Still, even in the bitter throes of defeat, when asked if there were any positives that RU can take from this game and move forward, he acknowledged there might be, stating: "This (defeat) can help a lot. We played hard till the end. We played with the number 1 team in the country. We can play with anybody". He added that "our offense was clicking a little bit, but if we had made some more shots, it could have been a closer game".

Chandler's play last night was even more impressive considering just how banged up he is. He hurt both feet several games ago (and sat being interviewed with a big ice pack on one of them), and also sustained a thigh bruise during this game. The injuries were enough to keep him out of the starting lineup going into the second half. "I didn't even warm up in the second half. It just started hurting", he said. "I just ran to the bench to get a little air and took off my sneakers, but I was ready to go".

Indeed he was, as from the outset, he was hardly fazed by the fact that he was playing the country's top-ranked team. "I didn't really care that it was the number one team", he said. "I'm sure that they didn't care that we weren't a ranked team, they still came out and played hard. They play like they're still hungry; they're not big-headed. They play like a championship team". He said they do all the things, in fact, that Rutgers should be doing, and expressed confidence that the still-young Scarlet Knights can get there. "We should be alright in the future", he said.

Indeed if Corey Chandler keeps developing and progressing, the Scarlet Knights may be more than alright. Leading RU in scoring and rebounding against North Carolina while playing with multiple injuries is the latest and perhaps most impressive accomplishment so far in his brief college career. Certainly it won't be the last. This incredible freshman seems well on his way to establishing himself as one the all-time greats in Rutgers history.

Scarlet Report Top Stories