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Rutgers Men’s Basketball at Big Ten Media Day

Rutgers men's basketball head coach Eddie Jordan at Big Ten Media Day

Rutgers men’s basketball head coach Eddie Jordan at Big Ten Media Day

Eddie Jordan took to the podium at Big Ten Media Day Thursday, and cited optimism for his men’s basketball program at Rutgers.

Opening Statement: “Good morning. We’re looking forward to a second year in the Big Ten looking forward to being more successful in the second year in the Big Ten. Lost three of our top players last year, being [Kadeem] Jack and Myles Mack and two top scorers and one of our best defenders. So it’s a new team. We have 7 newcomers. I like our talent base, we look good, deeper, athletic. And we have 8 or 9 guys to start. But the talent level has gotten better. Young, and so we’ll go from there. For the most part, we’re looking forward to competing in the Big Ten. However, our Non-Conference schedule is pretty good. Last year we were as high as 15th, toughest schedules in the country. And we remain to be that way Non-Conference.”

Replacing Mack and Jack will be tough, as they were the heart-and-soul of the team last year. Mack showed incredible toughness and grit all year. Last season, the Scarlet Knights averaged 59.3 points per game, finishing near the bottom of Division-1 teams (330 out of 345). With the infusion of young talent, Jordan hopes to improve in that area, all while replacing Mack and Jack.

“As a coach, you look forward to the team you have in front of you, and you don’t necessarily look back,” Jordan said. “I’m excited about coaching this team. I see a lot of good things for us as far as the way we’re going to play. For most of my career, I’ve done a Princeton-like type offense. This year, we changed it up. I’m excited about that. We’re more perimeter oriented. And so we have a lot of good athleticism. We have good talent. And it’s something I’m looking forward to. So I’m not looking back. I’m hoping we can have, you know, six, seven guys who averages probably 9, 10 points a game. Last year, Jack and Mack were our top scorers, and we just couldn’t score last year. I thought defensively we were solid for most of the year.”

Of those guys looking to score, front court players like Shaq Doorson, Greg Lewis, Ibrahima Diallo, D.J. Foreman, and incoming JUCO Deshawn Freeman, a prized recruit, will look to post up down low, and kick it out to the guards.

Electric freshman point guard Corey Sanders, looks to take the reins of the offense with his flashy ball-skills and swagger.

“Young, athletic, enthusiastic, knows how to play,” Jordan said describing Sanders’ play so far. “You know, he’s one of the top guys already who can start for us. But for the most part, he’s an energetic young man. He’s fun to be around. I know he’s got a huge following on YouTube’s, but he’s a terrific young man and he goes to class. Hasn’t been a blip about him missing a tutor, being late for study hall, so he does everything right.”

Bishop Daniels and Mike Williams will look to score as well, with Daniels more of a driver and Williams a shooter, even though he struggled some last year as a freshman.

“You know, freshman jitters, and he even admits he was nervous for most of his freshman year,” said Jordan, Rutgers’ all-time leader in steals and assists. “And, you know, I told him I want him to stay aggressive. Bishop is not going to be known to be a 3-point scorer for us. He’s more of a penetrator and finish at the rim and keep us organized at the offense. But Mike Williams, Justin Goode, Corey Sanders, I want those guys to jack him up, we want them to maximize their open 3s. Mike has been looking very well, very good in practice. He’s played well. He’s one of our toughest defenders and probably the toughest defender that we have. I know he had a reputation coming out of New York as a top shooter, but you know, he confessed he was nervous as a freshman. So we have a few more newcomers this year. We have to work through some of that but I’m excited about that and we should grow.”

Season tips-off November 13th at RAC against Rutgers-Newark at 7 p.m.

Women’s basketball begins away at St. Joseph’s in Philadelphia on November 13th.


Full transcript of Jordan’s press conference can be found and read here.

For Rutgers women’s basketball head coach C. Vivian Stringer’s press conference from Big Ten Media Day click here.

Rutgers women's basketball head coach C. Vivian Stringer at Big Ten Media Day

Rutgers women’s basketball head coach C. Vivian Stringer at Big Ten Media Day

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