Notes: Who's the PG, Hamady's health and more

James Beatty was brought in from Miami-Dade College to be Rutgers' point guard, but is he going to get the start ahead of Mike Coburn? Coach Fred Hill talked about the competition at the position. Also, center Hamady Ndiaye suffered a hyper-extended knee nearly two weeks ago. What is his status as Saturday's opener against Marist looms? Find out those answers here.

As Saturday's season opener against Marist looms, Rutgers coach Fred Hill is faced with something that has been absent throughout most of his four-year tenure – competition for starting spots.

The most important battle is at point guard, where it was widely expected junior college transfer James Beatty would be the starter and Mike Coburn would play a backup roll.

However, Hill said after Wednesday's practice he remains unsettled on the position.

"Mike Coburn has played his (butt) off,'' Hill said. "We talked at the end of last year about the adjustments he needed to make in his game. He wanted to be the point guard, and Mike's had a helluva ...preseason. He's played well.''

Beatty, who likes to push the tempo, averaged 13.9 points and 7.9 assists last season at Miami-Dade College. He still is expected to play more minutes at the point, but that Hill isn't ready to name him a starter is a testament to how much Coburn has worked to transform his game after averaging four points and 2.1 assists last season.

"They battle every day,'' Hill said. "It's neck and neck. It's nice to see.''

H is for Hamady, health
Hill is generally pleased with how the preseason progressed, but injuries as of late put a kink in things.

Senior center Hamady Ndiaye remains questionable for Marist after suffering a hyper-extended right knee during an Oct. 31 scrimmage with Iona.

Hill said sophomore guard Mike Rosario sat out scrimmages against Iona and Siena with an Achilles tendon and ankle injury, respectively, and freshman center Brian Okam only began practicing this week after dealing with an ankle sprain.

"(Ndiaye) is day-to-day,'' Hill said. "He'll be a game-time decision. I expect him to play.'' Ndiaye was able to participate in half of Rutgers' practice Wednesday, and everyone else was at full go.

However, dealing with the injuries forced Hill to play guys in places he did not want to.

"I would have liked to have been more healthy,'' Hill said. "I would have liked to have Mike and H in both scrimmages so we could get a truer look at some of the things we're trying to do.

"Because of that, we played with some of the guys out of position, which is something I really don't like to do. It's been a nemesis in the past. I loved the first three weeks of practice, and the last 10 days have been mix and match.''

Offensive output
Defense wasn't Rutgers' biggest concern a year ago. Scoring, now that was another matter, which is why Hill is excited about the way the Scarlet Knights shot the ball against Siena and Iona.

"I really like the fact we shot over 50 percent in both scrimmages,'' Hill said.

Rutgers shot 41.5 percent from the field last season, which was 14th in the 16-team Big East. The Scarlet Knights averaged 63.2 points, which was 15th in the league.

Scouting Marist
The Red Foxes lost their top two scorers off a team that went 10-23 last season, have one senior (Javon Parris, 6.0 ppg last season) and have nine freshmen sophomores.

"They're very, very difficult to guard. Right now that's a concern of mine,'' Hill said. "They play a dribble-drive offense. They're going to be smaller and quick, so we're going to have an advantage inside, but on the perimeter they're going to give you trouble off the drive.

"They're going to pitch it and play behind and they're going to shoot threes.


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