Ok Rutgers Wins and Seton Hall Loses. What happens next?
Rutgers got a big win playing with two Freshmen in the starting line-up. Looks like Mike Rosario is the real deal, which everyone thought he would be. Hitting 3's, making plays, getting it done. Greg E is rebounding like a veteran and doing a good job. The early schedule is designed just for what is happening. Games to provide confidence for younger players. I really feel when Rutgers hits the BE portion of the schedule they will have added confidence and a winning attitude. But will they be prepared for the BE? There are different theories on the type of schedule Rutgers has played to date. They are supposed to beat Delaware, although I thought the game would be more competitive. They were supposed to beat Robert Morris, and the other low-mid major team they played. Heck I think they should win every game leading up to the North Carolina game.
But what does this do? It gives some fans a false sense of how good the Rutgers team really is. Expectations could be super high and when you start playing teams with bigger and stronger players and defenders your season could turn completely around. But this is a young team and the early schedule is exactly what is needed to give those young kids confidence. Now next season a schedule like this will not be the ticket.
Yes The Hall loses to a nationally ranked team with a full roster of players who will play for money one day either in the NBA or over seas. Memphis is a team that has a payroll and basketball budget that is most likely 10 times what Seton Hall has. Plus Coach Cal has the ability to do stuff his way with zero interference from his AD or anyone else. Kids at Memphis are there for one thing and one thing only, TO PLAY BASKETBALL! No need for a Robin Cunningham at Memphis. Just keep them eligible until they are finished playing.
I do feel Coach Cal cares about his players more than I and others have given him credit for. He has always been open about assisting young kids and when he was at UMass thought nothing of taking time to speak with youth groups and donated money to many great causes. But we have to face facts. Schools like Memphis, Kansas, North Carolina, Duke, Kentucky, Syracuse, and Uconn are on a different level than most other college basketball programs financially and resource wise.
So losing to this team is far from a huge thing. In fact SHU did a great job with 7 players. I honestly think the game would have been closer if The Hall had a day to rest between games. From what I saw it seemed like SHU was mentally tired more than anything else. Turnovers, bad shots, forced shots, etc. 7 players against a nationally ranked team is a hard road for any D1 program.
Lastly I like the way Bobby Gonzalez was encouraging his players. It is the same way I feel Fred Hill treats his kids. Prepare for the future by encouraging the troops!
St. Johns Loses Anthony Mason Jr.
Bad break for St. Johns. But it is the type of thing that could pull them together and allow a new star to emerge. I have a feeling that St. Johns will surprise folks this season. I for one am pulling for Norm Roberts to have an exceptional year and great recruiting class. If St. Johns is good, everyone benefits locally.