2007 Rutgers Scarlet Knights Basketball Preview
The Rutgers Scarlet Knights (10- 19 overall, 3- 13 Big East) did not make the March Madness odds last year and have not been to the NCAA tournament since 1991. First time coach Fred Hill (10- 19 in one year with Rutgers and overall) tackled the recruiting task with vigor after his first season, capturing highly rated guard Corey Chandler.
Rutgers had a tough time scoring in college basketball lines in 2006- 2007, putting up merely 59.8 PPG, ranking the team 16th in the league. The club was also last in assists, with only 9.0 per game. The Scarlet Knights hit only 30% of their threes and 67.5% of their free throws. Scoring defense was ranked 10th as Rutgers allowed 66.2 PPG, giving them a minus-6.4 in the team’s PF/PA margin. Turnovers were respectable as the Knights had 12.9 TPG, making them seventh in the Big East.
Senior Byron Joynes was a two-year starter before he was sidelined by foot and shoulder injuries last season. Two years ago, he was a solid rebound man. Look for junior forward JR Inman (12.0 PPG, 7.3 RPG, 40.4 FG%), the team’s athletic big guy, to take more of a leadership role this season. Sophomore center Hamady N’diaye (2.7 PPG, 2.9 RPG, 50.0 FG%) had 49 blocks last season. Swingman Jaron Griffin, a junior, hit for an average of 8.0 PPG and grabbed 3.5 RPG.
In the backcourt, junior guard Anthony Farmer (7.8 PPG, 3.1 APG, 32.3 FG%) could be the point man, but he lacks quickness. Freshman Corey Chandler has speed and scoring chops that could earn him the job. Chandler, a pure athlete, is projected to be a 20-point-plus scorer and affect college basketball betting. Junior Courtney Nelson (3.7 PPG, 1.6 APG, 29.2 FG%) was a disappointment last year. Freshman Earl Pettis may prove to be an important offensive force.
This club has depth and versatility in the backcourt. The front is a concern but if a few guys can step-up and contribute, the Scarlet Knights will be competitive in the Big East. If this club can repeat last year’s performance that will be positive and if they can do even better, then coach Hill will have made some fine progress.