Griffin led all scorers with a career high 23 points in Rutgers loss to Louisville on Sunday at the RAC. He shot 6-13 from the field, including 4-5 from behind the arc and went 7-7 from the charity stripe. He also tied a season-high with 35 minutes played and kept the Knights in the game and put them in position to pull off the upset over the Cardinals.
"With Griff it comes down to his confidence and (he) certainly (did) today," Rutgers Head Coach Fred Hill said. "He played real confident and we had been stressing it. We are going to continue to go to him because he's a very solid play and he's a very capable shooter. He's taking good shots, which he does for the most part, and he's knocking them down with confidence."
Rutgers was down 34-24 early on in the second half, the Manchester Township High School product would score 10 of the Knights next 12 points to tie the game up at 36 with just under 14 minutes left.
"I was just shooting it and not thinking about it," Griffin said. "Usually when I miss, I start to think about it, but not today."
After Louisville sophomore guard Jerry Smith made a lay up when Rutgers was unable to beat the Cardinals' press, Griffin answered with a lay up of his own. Griffin would then nail a foul line jumper, and followed that up by draining a three when freshman guard Corey Chandler fed him a pass after drawing the defense in. With 13:55 left, Griffin tied it up with a three leading awakening the Rutgers faithful and giving the Knights hope.
"He can be a major plus for us," Hill said. "That's what's going to help us win."
The New Jersey native had a chance to experience basketball in other parts of the world along with junior guard Anthony Farmer and freshman guard Mike Coburn. They played on the East Coast All-Stars and went on a 10-day tour of Holland and Belgium. He averaged 18.9 points per game there and averaged 27 points per game in the final three games. Griffin felt the experience has helped him this year.
"It helped," Griffin said. "I averaged 18 points per game and I was just out there playing basketball and having fun against some of the best players over there."
No. 32 came into the season as the top returning player from last season's squad in terms of games, field goal attempts and three point attempts. As the season progresses, focusing is something Griffin said he needs to work on.
"Focus because it has a lot to do with shooting," he said.
While the Knights are struggling now, Griffin said he's not down on the team and that if they play together, the sky is the limit for them.
"I feel good about this team," he said. "The record doesn't show it, but I feel good about them."
Rutgers next game is on Jan. 16 against Syracuse at the Carrier Dome at 7 p.m.