A Similar Refrain in Rutgers

By Richard Kent, BASN Staff Reporter
Updated: June 16, 2010
CONNECTICUT (BASN) — Will it be the same as usually? The optimism about the new hire and then the disaster of near last place finishes in the Big East and no postseason? Losses to mid-majors? Player defections? A half empty RAC at Rutgers? We say no this time. It is all about the new hire. Finally the right hire after many hiring missteps. AD Tim Pernetti appears to have gotten it right with former Robert Morris coach and key Pittsburgh assistant Mike Rice. And head coach Rice appears to have gotten it right with the hiring of the best coaching staff in recent Rutgers history. Among the newcomers are associate head coach David Cox from Georgetown, Van Macon and Jimmy Martelli. Rutgers has had way too many Kevin Hecks as assistants and far too few coaches with the pedigree of Cox. Sure future NBA coaches Jeff Van Gundy and Eddie Jordan coached under Bob Wenzel, but that was in a pre-Big East era for the Scarlet Knights. Rutgers has already made recruiting waves by signing two top guards, who immediately eligible late in the game and gotten a commitment from a top 6-foot-8 player over Georgetown, Kentucky and Maryland. Pernetti took his time with the hire and it has paid off. Rice is as energetic as they get and his staff follows closely behind. However, don’t expect too much from Rutgers next season. Leading scorer Mike Rosario left for Florida and the Knights have few scoring options other than Dane Miller. Rice has promised an up tempo offense in an attempt to regain the RAC, one of the toughest places to play when it is full. Look for the new head coach to pull a couple of upsets in his first season and then make some real waves when he has his own recruits.