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Basketball

With a week off to prepare for its Big East opener at home against Pittsburgh next Sunday, Rutgers will have plenty to contemplate after a demoralizing 83-75 overtime loss to La Salle last night at the Rutgers Athletic Center.
And coach Gary Waters surely will remind the Scarlet Knights of every bitter detail over the next seven days.
Rutgers errs too much for rally to help

A dejected Jerome Coleman tried to blame his poor shooting for last night's 83-75 overtime loss to La Salle, and said he should be benched if he continues to slump. "I honestly and truly believe that," he said. "If I'm not helping the team, I should be sitting. I prefer to be on the bench when I'm playing like that."
Rutgers notebook: Coleman ready to sit if he can't hit
 

PISCATAWAY - Anyone with nerve enough to call a pre-conference schedule boasting the likes of North Carolina, Auburn, Virginia, Temple and Princeton layered with cupcake filling better come ready to back it up. The Rutgers University men's basketball team still contends it can look itself in the mirror after going 2-3 against the aforementioned NCAA Tournament veterans, particularly after that nationally televised, four-point loss to the fabled Tar Heels at the Dean Dome Nov. 20. Perhaps that is why the Scarlet Knights are likely to have plenty of suggestions on where the naysayers can put all those "cupcake" victories over Columbia, Delaware State, Marshall, Morris Brown and Prairie View A&M.
Scrappy La Salle shuts down Rutgers

PISCATAWAY - Ricky Shields was willing to give his coach a little room when he said Shields and his teammates weren't ready for this one. But when he heard Gary Waters say Rutgers always plays good defense, Shields swiveled his head, raised his eyebrows, and then forged no niceties in disagreeing. "What?!" he said, minutes after LaSalle's Gary Neal dumped 33 points on Rutgers, and Neal's team dumped the Scarlet Knights, 83-75, in overtime Saturday. "No one's ever scored 33 points on us, when we're man-to-man."
NorthJersey.com - Rutgers

PISCATAWAY -- Gary Neal, one of four freshman starters on the La Salle men's basketball team, scored 10 of his career-high 33 points in overtime, leading the Explorers past Rutgers 83-75 Saturday night. The loss was the second of the year at the Louis Brown Athletic Center for Rutgers, which finished 15-2 at home a year ago. The Scarlet Knights, 13-point favorites, were booed by the crowd of 6,341 as they walked off the court.
Poor play finally catches up with Rutgers in loss to La Salle - Courier News

How tough is Rutgers at home? Last season, the likes of Connecticut, Syracuse, Georgetown and Miami headed home with a loss. Last night, the young Explorers succeeded where those teams had failed, thanks to freshman Gary Neal, who amassed 33 points, and another freshman, Steve Smith, who had 21 points and 13 rebounds. Both saved their best work for overtime.
Philadelphia Inquirer | 01/05/2003 | Freshmen steer Explorers past Rutgers

But, if this display was mediocre at best, the road doesn't get any easier as next up in second-ranked Pittsburgh, followed by a trip to South Bend and a meeting with No. 6 Notre Dame. The week concludes with a contest with a much-improved Villanova
"This is just one game," Rutgers coach Gary Waters said. "It's not every game we are going to shot 30 percent. Every time a team holds us to 30 percent they beat us. We have to use this as a learning experience. We have to come out the next time and do a better job."
The Trentonian

 

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Box score shows it all. RU gets beat badly again in "points in the paint," same guys playing a lot of minutes, indicating no depth or scoring, especially in front court/post.
LaSalle was a very young team (starting 3 fresh, soph), in RU's house and RU gets beat. It's obvious over the last 3-4 games there is a pattern problem here which is poor basketball and I believe it's the trend for this year. We haven't even started BE conf games yet!
It's going to be a long year folks. So much for the dreaded RAC home court advantage. Don't look for improvement from last year.
I know Good and Hill are not playing, but Good, who is junior college transfer hasn't played much or has done anything so far. RU wasted a scholarship on him, as I don't think he's going to contribute to this team, in a position we badly need help in. We should have given the scholarship to a freshman post player.
This is very disappointing.
Does anyone out there know what Waters plan is, if he has one!

 

Mike Fasano: MikeFasano@comcast.net

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