The idea made perfect sense at the time. Put Rutgers in the same conference as Seton Hall, make the two schools play once or twice a year in a league setting, and let basketball nature take its course. It wasn't North Carolina-Duke, but it had the potential to become something meaningful -- certainly a game that mattered beyond the gritty stretch of Exits 9 to 16W on the Turnpike. There was no reason to believe it wouldn't happen, since both programs weren't far removed from NCAA Tournament appearances at the time. That was 1995. Fast forward to the first of two meetings between the Big East schools this afternoon at Continental Airlines Arena in The Star-Ledger Shootout. Rutgers is 9-9 overall and 1-5 in the conference. Seton Hall is 8-9 and 3-4 in league play. Both are closer to last place than first.
Rutgers-Seton: Knights, Pirates are still outside looking in
If Andre Barrett knew then what he knows now, well, who knows what might have happened? This was not the way things were supposed to go for the Seton Hall point guard. When he arrived as a freshman in 2000, Barrett was joining a team that had reached the NCAA Sweet 16 the previous spring, and he was part of coach Tommy Amaker's highly regarded freshman class that included forwards Marcus Toney-El and Eddie Griffin.
Seton Hall: The leader in Barrett emerges
Jerry Walker laughed when he said it. But he couldn't help but equate the Seton Hall-Rutgers rivalry with the Army-Navy football game. "That's just what it's like," he said. "Whoever wins that game has bragging rights even though they'll probably get their (butts) kicked by everyone else for the rest of the year."
Rutgers-Seton: Rivalry isn't in the state it once was
PISCATAWAY - Some questions, like which player he needs more from, required no hesitation. The words out quickly, he'd speak firmly, loudly, and briefly. But for the majority of the questions, Rutgers coach Gary Waters took a few minutes, chuckled a couple times, scratched his head, and once, acknowledged, "That's a tough question."Waters, you see, is concerned more than anything about hurting someone's self-confidence. When he arrived on campus two springs ago, he put the basketballs away and brought out a psychiatrist. His team thinking like a winner, he believes, is the first step in getting it to play like a winner.
North Jersey Media Group
Nobody expected today's Seton Hall-Rutgers game to be a showdown for Big East supremacy.But who figured the teams to be in this state? There's a good chance the loser of today's game will struggle to make the Big East tournament. Both programs are losing games they seemingly shouldn't - to teams such as Manhattan and LaSalle - not exactly the superpowers of men's college basketball. And how bright could the future be with each team failing to cash in on one of the best recruiting classes New Jersey has ever provided?
North Jersey Media Group
When Andre Barrett rose for his shot at salvaging Seton Hall's season, he repeated his version of Dorothy's clicking her ruby red heels together three times. "The only thing I was thinking?" Barrett says now. "Just make sure you bend your knees. I'd noticed when my shots were short or off, I just wasn't following the right technique. I just had to bend my knees." Barrett shakes his head at the absurdity of it all. His bent knees can be the difference between Seton Hall winning and losing. He bends his knees, he hits the NBA-range 3-pointer that buries Georgetown in overtime. "I had to remember to bend my knees," Barrett says. When you're carrying a college, it's easy to forget the little things. And when the university basketball team's on you, every little thing counts. Just ask Jerome Coleman. Rutgers is his burden. And when the Knights were locked in a six-game skid, it felt like Sisyphus' rock bearing down on his wayward jumper. So Coleman did the unthinkable in the "Me World" of athletics. He voluntarily gave up his starting spot, asking to instead come off the bench.
Rutgers' Coleman, Seton Hall's Barrett share a common burden - Courier News
"When I came here, it was all new to me," Lamizana said, noting that his countrymen didn't talk junk. "I just got used to it." Lamizana, over the years, has become quite adept at the art of trash-talking.
Rutgers, Seton Hall are used to trading baskets, verbal barbs - Courier News
PISCATAWAY -- Jerome Coleman spent the better part of Rutgers' first 17 games searching for the outside shot that made him, and the Scarlet Knights, so successful last season.
He found it Wednesday at the RAC, pouring in 31 points on 12-for-23 shooting -- including four preposterous 3-pointers in the second half, each of them farther from the basket than its predecessor -- to lead the Knights to a 68-65 victory over 24th-ranked Syracuse.
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