Sitting here early Saturday morning thinking about how hard it is for some folks to live up to others expectations. This applies to learning, employment, and even athletics. It is so hard when people become so disappointed in you that you just seem to give up!
This seems to be the case with JR Inman at Rutgers University. It seems to me that his body language and bench behavior indicate that he has lost the love to play the game. This has been evident for a long time from my observations. It really looks like difficult work when I watch him play. The joy seems gone and he is just on the court to be on the court. No hunger, no desire, no role, just playing and praying not to make mistakes. This is one of the true sad eastern basketball stories not related to an actual tragedy. Coaches and fans alike from Pa. to Connecticut have commented on him this year. I will not say what they have relayed to many people including me. But what remains important is the fact JR Inman seems to have thrown in the towel. He walks up the court, shows little emotion, and is playing scared from the fear he has not pleased his coaches.
Speaking of coaches this is where experience would have played a huge part. I doubt Fred Hill Jr. is a bad coach. I also doubt he is a bad person. If anything he would be considered a players coach. But his lack of experience hurt in this case because he did not understand what it would take to get the most out of kids like JR Inman, Corey Chandler, Anthony Farmer, Hamady N'Diaye, and Jeron Griffin. If he is still the Rutgers Coach in a few years he will be able to handle kids much better. But these are cases that require more than basketball coaching experience. I guess it is why if you watch closely you will see Danny Nee whispering to players during the time-outs.
Now before folks start defending stuff on here at the urging of un-named sources lol, let me say JR and all the others share the blame. A quitter never wins and a winner never quits. And just being a good person and cheering for your teammates does not mean you are a team player or have not quit on them. I watch for the little things. And honestly any player who plays the game of basketball and is content to sit on the bench and be the first guy out when there is a time out after being the leading scorer the past two seasons is soft and too wimpy for me. It is not impressive!!!!
JR should be pissed! Pissed enough to go out there with fire in his eyes and determined to make stuff happen. He does not even look to shoot the ball. Now he might not be All BE 10th team, but he has game. It is just the fire and heart that remains missing. As I have said for 4 year to him, RUN THE DAMN COURT even after a made basket by the other team. Watching him ALWAYS jog up slowly trailing the play is downright sickening.
JR Inman needs to use these last few games to come out of this funk. A funk that could carry over to any career. Even one that is non sports related. You never know who is watching and what opportunities you are missing by just accepting your limited role and accepting bench time with a silly smile on your face. What the hell have you worked so hard for.
Trust me I will never give up on JR the person. Just wish JR would attempt to be all he can basketball wise.
Rutgers Basketball Program
Spoke via email with my guy JShuttlesworth yesterday and he gave me something to think about that I never considered. Has Rutgers given up on basketball? Are they interested in the Penn State Model for athletics? Football, more football, and a little spring football? Is this the reason they hired FHJ? Is this the reason they do not provide FHJ with the tools to become successful? Honestly they owe FHJ another 3 years based on the support they have given him which is very little!
Lets also look at C Vivian Stringer and the RU Women. How much longer will she coach? Her name now attracts players because the facilities sure are not what others have to work with. If she leaves watch out!
I say all this because the new AD needs to be a Basketball and Football person. In addition he or she must understand fund raising and capital projects because funding for new facilities should be on top of the list. The new AD needs to come with a plan to improve basketball through marketing, new facilities including a practice building and new arena. He or she must also understand what it will take to become a true player in the BE conference as opposed to playing just to seem competitive. Yes the Northwestern model is in affect at Rutgers and it is not all Fred Hills fault.
When looking at Rutgers basketball from the outside you must wonder if anyone high up really cares? I mean it is 2009 and no one is even discussing facility improvement. Next thing you might notice is they assign a Assistant AD to work with basketball while the AD does football.
I can go on and on but the bottom line is the resume of who ever is chosen as the new AD at Rutgers will tell the entire picture of the direction Rutgers wishes to go.