By Matt Sugam
PISCATAWAY – Rutgers sequestered a double digit lead as Providence ended the first half on a 19-0 run en route to a 76-72 victory at the RAC. Here’s what to take away from the game.
1. Balanced effort
With their leading scorer Eli Carter out for the season, head coach Mike Rice has said they need to get more contributions from everybody. The Scarlet Knights did tonight. They played good team basketball, sharing the game with great ball movement. The result was three players score in double figures, and surprisingly, none was named Myles Mack.
2. Jack turns the corner
It appears the light has gone on for Kadeem Jack. He just capped off the best three-game stretch of his young career with 15 points, 10 rebounds and a block for the first double-double of his career. It takes big men a while to develop, so it’s no surprise that it took Jack this long to emerge after missing the first half of last year with a foot injury. And things are only going to get better as he begins scratching the surface of his full potential.
3. It’s Miller time
Rice said he spoke with Dane Miller after the Villanova game and told him if he didn’t pick up his play, his minutes would go elsewhere. The senior wing heard the message loud and clear. Miller responded with 16 points, seven rebounds and two assists.
Rutgers is now locked in to playing on the opening night of the Big East Tournament.
On Providence’s 19-0 run: “We blinked…You can’t get sad. You can’t stop fighting and we do. We have a tendency when they go on a run or something bad happens to feel sorry for ourselves and you’re in the wrong league to do that.”
“If you don’t defend and you’re missing shots you may as well call the cops because you’re going to jail because you’re not winning.”
“Vincent Council is probably the best point guard in the conference and he spreads the ball. He was making some big plays for them.”
On first double-dobule of his career: “It really doesn’t matter because we lost.”