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Rutgers Hoops Looking For Positive Results As Jordan Continues to Build Program

Eddie Jordan

Eddie Jordan


With the season set to tip off tomorrow night for the Rutgers men’s basketball team, there is a lot riding on head coach Eddie Jordan to produce in his third season.

After going 23-41 in his first two years as head coach, Jordan and his Scarlet Knights need to start turning the corner. The entry into the Big Ten last year came with expected difficulty. But this season needs to indicate that Jordan is taking the basketball program, with its last winning season coming in 2006, in the right direction for the future.

So far, the month of November has not produced optimism for Jordan and his program. Last week, four-star guard Kwe Parker de-committed from Rutgers. Parker, a hyper-athletic guard known for his dunking prowess in high school, re-opened his recruitment Nov. 4 on Twitter.

Tuesday saw the announcement that freshman guard Corey Sanders will miss the season-opener against Rutgers-Newark while serving a self-imposed one game suspension for playing in a non-sanctioned basketball event over the summer. Rutgers also released news that rising sophomore center Shaquille Doorson will be sidelined indefinitely as he continues to deal with a left foot injury.

Even with all of the negatives, the Scarlet Knights need to continue its focus on improving, even if only in modest amounts right now.

One of the most important factors for this involves recruiting. If Rutgers wants to become a top tier basketball program, it needs to bring in top-level talent from the high school ranks.

The first indication of that will be on display later this week against Howard in freshman guard Corey Sanders. Rated as the 62nd best player in the ESPN Top 100 in 2015, Sanders represents one example of a program-changing player that Rutgers needs more of.

The move to the Big Ten has improved the Knights prospects in landing these elite talents. High school players want to play at the highest level possible in college, and now Rutgers can offer that to recruits.

“Recruiting has picked up,” Jordan said. “We have a lot of interest, because of our improved talent, recruits see the possibilities and potential of a good Big Ten team, and we hope that continues.”

This season’s recruitment got off to a strong start with the commitment of Parker, but his decommitment is causing the Knights to lose some momentum on the recruitment trail. Rutgers currently does not have any commits for the 2016 season, but is in the mix for some top-tier recruits who have not made their decisions yet.

With a reported new practice facility, and upgrades coming for the Rutgers Athletic Center, the Knights seem to have more than ever to offer recruits.

This has not been the case however, as no official word has been given on when these upgrades are coming for the basketball program.

“It’s been a non-factor, actually,” said Jordan. “We don’t talk about that because we are still looking for some solid indication there is a timetable. Right now I don’t have a timetable for it, we don’t sell that, I’m as honest as I can with my recruits, and all we can sell is a terrific school, the Big Ten, the program, and we are becoming a good team.”

With his recruiting efforts at a standstill right now, Jordan needs to focus on the one aspect he can control – coaching his team to win games. If Rutgers can raise its level of play and get off to a strong start in the non-conference portion of its schedule, the momentum will come back for the program.

This is an important season for Rutgers, and tomorrow night marks the first chance the Knights have in making this year a positive one for the program.

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