A Tale of Two Coaches

By Richard Kent, BASN Staff Reporter
Updated: January 30, 2011
NEW JERSEY (BASN) — Dick “Hoops” Weiss said it Saturday before the Pittsburgh game. Coach Mike Rice is doing a great job at Rutgers.

They will be a force to be reckoned with as long as he stays on the Banks. He was prophetic as the Rice-led Scarlet Knights narrowly fell to the No. 2 team in the nation, 65-62 before an energized crowd of over 8,000 at the RAC.

Rutgers plays like a team. They haven’t in years.

They have had gunners like Mike Rosario take over and heave dozens of shots a game to increase his own scoring average.

Rutgers has little talent this year. Few Rice type players. Next year, they have a monster recruiting class coming in. A class that should take them to the NCAA’s in 2012-13.

The office next to Rice’s is occupied by Vivian Stringer, a Hall of Fame coach and the owner of over 800 wins. That was then.

this is now. This year, Rutgers has been outscored 213-145 by UConn, Stanford, and Tennessee — teams they were competitive with five years ago.

UConn’s Geno Auriemma made some second half adjustments with his 3-point shooters at Rutgers and the Huskies went on a run in the second half with Stringer watching dazed.

The same thing happened yesterday at Louisville. Jeff Walz, the Lady Cardinal coach has lapped Stringer in recent years and that was evident in the second half of Louisville’s home win against Rutgers.

And Louisville is not even that good. The Rutgers women are staring at a 17-14 season and no NCAA bid for the first time in years. They have great talent in April Sykes, Nikki Speed, and Chelsey Lee.

They have as much talent as UConn and Tennessee and more than Louisville. They play a 1950’s style of basketball which assures them of playing games scoring in the 50’s. They have a very low margin for error and it shows.

Stringer has some major talent coming in once again next season. It is time for her to coach them up or maybe turn the reigns over to a coach with a style more compatible to 2011.