Big East Tournament 2012: Rutgers Basketball Preview

The Big East Conference Tournament 2012 tips off Tuesday afternoon at Madison Square Garden, and this SB Nation New York StoryStream is the place to come for every tidbit of information. For a full schedule with results and updates of the bracket, click here.

The words, "Rutgers basketball has a bright future," has probably never been uttered in the world of men's college basketball, but they will be after this season.

Thanks to a solid freshman class, which features stud guards Eli Carter and Myles Mack, and a future All-Conference forward in sophomore Gilvydas Biruta, the Rutgers Scarlet Knights are ready to make some noise in the Big East Conference. And who knows, it could be this week.

Head Coach: Mike Rice, second season

The former Robert Morris coach, Rice is in his second season of trying to finally turn Rutgers basketball around. As his predecessors Fred Hill and Gary Waters found out, it’s an uphill battle.

Team MVPs: Eli Carter/Myles Mack, freshman guards

If anything, things are looking up for Rutgers in the coming years with the solid play of their freshman guard duo of Myles Mack and Eli Carter. Carter (13.5 ppg) and Mack (9.5 ppg) lead the team in scoring, but the lack of leadership on the team is apparent. Where was Dane Miller this year?

Playing For: Pride

Once again, Rutgers will not enjoy postseason basketball. The journey towards an NCAA Tournament bid continues.

Breakdown: The year started poorly and will likely end poorly for the Scarlet Knights. They got off to just a 4-5 start, a stretch that included losses to the likes of LSU, Richmond and Princeton. But then, as Rutgers does almost every year, came the impressive wins against good teams; a double overtime thriller over Florida, a win over then-No. 8 UConn. However, the bad outweighed the good, and Rutgers plodded along to a 14-17 (6-12) finish.

It’s likely that Rutgers’ stay in the Big East Tournament will last about as long as Mike Rice’s suit coats do in a game; not very long. They simply don’t shoot the ball well enough and don’t have much talented size on the roster. They could use Dane Miller to find the form that made him a standout in his freshman and sophomore years, but they’ve been searching for that all season. They’ll rely heavily on youngsters Carter and Mack to score, which is a recipe for an early exit.

Big East Tournament Seed: No. 11, will play No. 14 Villanova Wildcats in first round (9 p.m. ET).

Roster and stats:


FG 3PT FT Rebounds Misc
G M M A Pct M A Pct M A Pct Off Def Tot Ast TO Stl Blk PF PPG
Eli Carter 31 29.6 4.7 11.5 40.6 1.7 4.9 34.2 2.5 3.5 70.4 0.5 2.5 3.1 2.2 2.7 1.3 0.1 2.5 13.5
Myles Mack 31 26.5 3.2 8.2 39.0 1.5 4.4 33.8 2.0 2.6 78.8 0.3 1.8 2.0 2.0 1.8 1.5 0.0 1.4 9.9
Gilvydas Biruta 31 25.6 3.5 7.8 45.6 0.2 0.6 35.0 2.5 4.0 64.2 2.4 3.0 5.4 1.5 2.2 0.9 0.4 3.3 9.9
Dane Miller 31 28.8 3.1 6.1 50.5 0.3 1.2 27.0 1.5 2.1 71.9 2.2 4.5 6.7 2.2 2.0 1.2 1.6 2.2 7.9
Jerome Seagears 31 25.7 2.8 7.0 40.1 0.9 2.6 32.9 1.3 1.6 76.5 1.5 1.5 3.0 2.5 1.5 0.8 0.1 2.4 7.7
Mike Poole 31 22.0 2.7 6.6 40.8 0.4 1.1 33.3 0.9 1.1 79.4 1.0 2.3 3.2 1.2 1.3 1.3 0.6 2.5 6.6
Austin Johnson 30 16.2 1.6 3.2 50.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 1.1 1.6 68.1 0.7 1.4 2.2 0.4 1.3 0.4 0.2 2.9 4.3
Malick Kone 15 10.2 1.4 2.9 47.7 0.1 0.3 40.0 0.5 0.7 80.0 0.7 1.3 2.0 0.4 0.2 0.3 0.2 1.1 3.5
Austin Carroll 10 10.6 1.0 2.3 43.5 0.6 1.5 40.0 0.2 0.4 50.0 0.3 0.9 1.2 1.0 1.1 0.3 0.1 0.9 2.8
Derrick Randall 31 11.3 1.0 1.8 56.1 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.5 0.7 60.9 1.1 1.3 2.4 0.1 0.6 0.3 0.4 1.4 2.5
Kadeem Jack 17 7.9 0.5 2.0 26.5 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.2 0.5 37.5 0.6 0.8 1.5 0.0 0.6 0.4 0.5 1.3 1.2
Greg Lewis 17 5.7 0.3 1.0 29.4 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.1 0.0 0.5 0.5 0.9 0.2 0.6 0.0 0.2 1.3 0.6
Charlie Rigoglioso 10 2.1 0.2 0.5 40.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.1 0.4 0.5 0.4 0.0 0.2 0.0 0.1 0.4
Mike Kuhn 10 1.9 0.1 0.8 12.5 0.0 0.6 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.1 0.1 0.2 0.1 0.1 0.0 0.1 0.2

For a SB Nation New York preview of other Big East schools, click on its respective links: Syracuse, Marquette, Notre Dame, Cincinnati, Georgetown, South Florida, Louisville, West Virginia, Connecticut, Seton Hall, Rutgers, St. John's, Pittsburgh, Villanova, Providence, DePaul.

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