Due to NCAA rules, a maximum of two returning players may compete on one team, so Rutgers players are spread across several teams in the league.
ScarletReport.com traveled to St. Rose High on Thursday to check out six of the Scarlet Knights, and came away with the following information and analysis. (Please keep in mind the JSBL is an offense-first, limited-defense league)
- After lacking leadership last season, coach Mike Rice moved quickly to make sure captains were in place for the summer and heading into the season.
"We have no new guys, other than (Vince Garrett)," Poole said. "Everybody's word counts the same. Coach Rice gave me, Dane and Myles the leeway to lead guys when they're not focused."
- Wally Judge said the plan is for he and Kadeem Jack to both play the power forward and center positions, and the ability to switch back-and-forth should add flexibility to the roster, and make it harder for teams to defend Rutgers.
- Judge is markedly bigger, up nearly 20 pounds to 256. He is comfortable playing with his back to the basket and showed a very good touch with his turnaround jumpers and also driving to the basket. His length is a huge asset, especially rebounding.
Judge, like many athletic big men, has a piece of guard in his heart and a few times brought the ball up the court and stepped outside for long jumpers. He did both well, and although he will earn his keep playing inside, he should be able to score on the perimeter in moderation.
Another positive sign was Judge continually setting screens, and rolling to the basket. He needs to roll quicker, but that should come as the intensity is ratcheted up. He also does a good job of shielding off defenders while in the low post.
- Mack looks markedly thicker in the upper body, which should serve well in being able to hand the physical play of the Big East.
On the court, Mack showed his typical quick first step and ability to drive to the basket and finish in traffic, but he did not shoot the ball well and had trouble defending on the perimeter.
- The most impressive thing about Miller was his jump shot. He made a number of 3-pointers and looked comfortable and confident shooting it. He has worked a lot on his jumper in the offseason, and while one night doesn't mean he will shoot it well during the season, his shot looked more compact.
- Newcomer Vince Garrett, who played wing on the same team as Judge and Mack, was quick off the dribble and showed good body control when driving to the basket. He likes to shoot. Really likes to shoot. He was inconsistent with his jumper, but he also made a few acrobatic, high-difficulty level shots on turnaround jumpers and drives to the basket.
- Power forward Derrick Randall wasn't active and spent a long part of the second half on the bench with Poole. Randall is noticeably thicker, and he said he weighs 241 pounds after playing last season at 226.
Randall did rebound on occasion, and also used his right hand on the offensive side at times, which is a big move since his game is left-hand dominated.
- Poole showed a consistent mid-range jump shot in the first half, but wasn't involved in the second half. He also handled the ball well and looked comfortable doing it, but he didn't drive to the basket much and floated around the perimeter.
A huge positive, though, is Poole is now up to 194 pounds. He played at 176 pounds as a freshman.