By Matt Sugam
PISCATAWAY – The stats don’t jump off the page. But for Jerome Seagears, his seven point, six assists, four rebound game was about more than numbers.
Seagears was a vocal leader that dictated Rutgers’ offense with the ball in his hands much of the time in the 67-62 win over No. 24 at the RAC. Most importantly, Seagears needed to get out of his early season funk.
“He needed a wakeup call,” head coach Mike Rice said. “I thought in the Syracuse game, he may not have played with tremendous purpose, but he was an animal in the huddles. He was aggressive, he was a leader. He was our emotional leader at Syracuse.”
Which he carried over into today.
Seagears got his first start since the season opener thanks to “a minor violation of team rules” by Eli Carter. A change that helped spark Seagears.
“It definitely did [help],” Seagears said. “I’m not really used to coming off the bench, but whatever it takes for us to win I’m down to do it.”
Today, Seagears displayed what he needs to be for Rutgers. An emotional leader that controls Rutgers’ offense.
“Just did my job as a leader, as a point guard, get everybody easy shots. Make it easy [for my teammates],” Seagears said was the difference today. “Get a flow going early in the game like we did today.”
In doing so, Seagears can spell Myles Mack. Something his teammates feel like they benefit from.
“It’s great because he’s a different style of point guard from Myles,” Wally Judge said. “They both bring something great to the table, but with his energy, he’s athletic, he’s quick, with his type of game he adds a different punch and it could change the game up to where teams can’t adjust and just him being a threat now really helps out the offense.”
Not to mention that Mack can come off the ball so plays can be run for him.
But really, this game was most important for Seagears. It was a game that got his confidence back.
“I needed it a lot,” Seagears said. “You know well, I’ve been in a slump, but every player goes through a slump and I’m just glad I’ve been able to get out of it.”
“It’s just a booster for the team and just for me as an individual just for me to get back,” Seagears said. “And it’s happening at the right time in the Big East.”