GAME 2: Give time to gelatinize the mold

bac2therac

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RU wins easily after a slow lazy start going on a huge 21-2 to take control and never look back. FDU would scrap back to get within 9 but RU promptly answered, buckled down on defense and broke the FDU Knights spirit ballooning the lead to as much as 26. The program has progressed to the point where its not about just winning these type of games. Expectations down the road mean that many of us are looking for some style points, consistency and growth from players from game to game. Thus we nitpick more than we are used to in a game where we won by 20 plus.

First lets start with the superlatives, was this a career high for Harper? I think it was., 30 points, 11-16 shooting, 5-9 from 3...Harper become unstoppable after a funky start as he start draining open 3s and became confident in taking on a much needed leadership role. Its quite clear that RU is sorely missing the leadership of Geo Baker on the court. His presence is everything. It appears from this game and the previous game, we need to cut RU some slack on these slow sloppy starts. I think the team is learning a few things. One learning how to play as the hunted not the hunter. RU has to pull themselves together and focus from the start of these lesser games, just like they would do in the Big 10. Harper WILL be counted on to provide this leadership. I am not sure Myles is the type of guy to pull the team together and lead.

FDU came in today aggressive and using their speed and punched RU in the mouth and yes RU appeared to be caught off guard. They shouldn't but they were. Playing teams like RU is a Super Bowl for these lesser light NJ/NYC schools. They do not have the depth but they do have some athleticism and some great coaching. Usually they live and die by forcing the issue, playing extremely agressive and getting hot shooting usually from the outside. That recipe worked for FDU but it really only goes as far as RU will allow it to. RU committed an absurd 10 turnovers in the first half of the first half but then none in last half of the first half. Alot of credit there goes to Jacob Young who was turning it over like a pancake early. He was reinsterted in the lineup and quickly became unstoppable whether it was his steals, his dipsy doos or his assists to Harper. Young was the catalyst of RU coming to life and repelling any real chance of FDU staying in the game. Young finished with 4 steals, 7 assists, 24 points on 11-17 shooting and a big reversal from his quiet offensive night vs Sacred Heart.

I thought individually Mulcahy didnt have a great game and clearly the speed of FDU did not play to his game at all. Its not always going to be like that. I think in a more half court game Mulcahy will be better but what is interesting is even with his off game, Paul still was RU's leading rebounder with 8 and to me that says something that he contributed even as if his overall game seemed subpar. I think Myles was lazy for much of the game. I was impressive with his dribble drive attack that lead to a bucket and he hit the free throw. Yes Myles can and should be doing this against lesser teams. Myles will be counted on for offensive productions in key situations against the best of the Big 10. I thought he was outplayed by the FDU big and that shouldnt be happening. Hoping to see more out of Myles in the upcoming games. Mathis was good and bad as he usually is. He goes through stretches in time where he is just out of control. Again its always about letting the game come to him. He was much more in the groove as the game went on. Of the newcomers I like Mag this game, he has back to back baskets in a key stretch that put RU up 13 after the 18 point lead had been sliced to 9. Thats a big time spot for the freshmen to step up in and I think it might get overlooked. There are games where Harper and Young will not be able to dominate, RU is going to need the Mags and Mulcahys of the world to contribute here and there. 6 points, 5 boards and a block this was Mag' s chance to show we could offer in an impressive 17 minutes. First game was Cliff, tonight not as prolific but still a needed 22 minutes getting acclimated, 5 points, 3 boards and make 3 of 4 foul shots. Nothing wrong with that. Reiber got a needed 13 minutes and looked okay. Palmquest saw very little time but not sure what was up with that. Doucoure again, speaks for itself, I said it last year, its not a player that will contribute for RU.

Certainly this was not a pristine RU game by any stretch. The slow starts and decision making early and plethora of turnovers are correctable mistakes. Leadership cannot be forced. It has to happen. Without Geo its up to Ron to set the tone early and others will follow. Again the good Justin Young can be unstoppable. This team still has to know its got to work for things and being ranked 24 doesnt mean that they can walk out on the court and dominate. As competition heats up the challenge of being the hunted will also increase...game by game...FDU is better than Sacred Heart, Hofstra is better than FDU and Syracuse is better than Hofstra and the Big 10 is better than Syracuse. Without Geo its hard to focus on some of the mistakes because this team and coaching staff are adjusting to not only his absence but the loss of Caleb and Yeboah. Figuring out which combo of guards work best together not just on offense but on defense as well and which of the freshmen can be trusted enough to get the most minutes. Those are 3 key cogs of the RU rotation last year so its going to take time for the mold to re-gel. I am okay with these first two games working out some issues especially without Geo. I have seen enough good things to be confident that this is a tourney type team, its just a matter of giving some of the newer ingredients a chance to set.

Hofstra is the next challenge barring any Covid positives and its the first game for the Flying Dutchmen so I think this is the game where RU needs to jump out to that early start and not let Hofstra get comfortable.
 

BigEastPhil

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Don't sleep on Hofstra. They won the CAA outright last year though I believe their star player graduated.

Like BAC said above, team is in process of finding itself as the loss of Geo; Yeobah and Caleb doesn't heal itself overnight.

The 3 guys above are a handful to lose....lots of minutes; points; toughness etc.
 
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RUfan1027

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Don't sleep on Hofstra. They won the CAA outright last year though I believe their star player graduated.

Like BAC said above, team is in process of finding itself as the loss of Geo; Yeobah and Caleb doesn't heal itself overnight.

The 3 guys above are a handful to lose....lots of minutes; points; toughness etc.
I think their coach (Mihalich) is out which should help as well. We should win by 15-20.
 

Shell21

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I think their coach (Mihalich) is out which should help as well. We should win by 15-20.
Will be a tough game for sure but a combo of their coach being out and it being their first game this year with no scrimmages only helps us. We need to get out to a fast start this game ; need to build a lead before they find their rhythm . If we start slow again and let them find their way ; it will be a dog fight because they r much better than the two teams we’ve played thus far
 

RU-05

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As per Myles leadership abilities, and this is not to say Harper does not lead by example, but Johnson, especially on the defensive side of the ball really was integral in RU asserting it's dominance in this game.

Lazy in this game? I have no idea where that is coming from.

I do think it's fair to say his low key personality is not going to spark a team, but I think he does provide an emotional structural backbone.
 
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RU516

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Someone answer this for me as I have not watched either of the first two games. Myles Johnson has only played 31 total minutes so far. Are there simply too many options at the 5? Were the first two games bad matchups? Is he just not living up to expectations?
 

RU-05

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Someone answer this for me as I have not watched either of the first two games. Myles Johnson has only played 31 total minutes so far. Are there simply too many options at the 5? Were the first two games bad matchups? Is he just not living up to expectations?
2 blowouts and numerous options is my guess. Also wanting to get Cliff college experience before conf play starts.

Yes consider the competition, but I thought Myles had a very good game tonight.
 
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Greene Rice FIG

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Someone answer this for me as I have not watched either of the first two games. Myles Johnson has only played 31 total minutes so far. Are there simply too many options at the 5? Were the first two games bad matchups? Is he just not living up to expectations?
I trust Pikiell and know he must have his reasons. I am very surprised Myles isn’t starting and is getting less minutes than Cliff. It doesn’t make sense from at home in front of a TV and not at practice
 

RU-05

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Myles played only 14 minutes. RU was a plus 16 in those 14 minutes.

scored 8 points on 3-4 shooting
Had 2 steals 4 blocks 2 assusts
He drew 6 fouls which was a huge part of this games

He was dominant when he was in there.
You forgot 4 reb's including 2 offensive. Not dominant #'s on their own, but it does speak to how all around his game was, and is.
 

RUtrumpet92

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Myles came off the bench a lot late last season, too. It seemed like it was mainly to avoid early foul trouble. Now I think it is to give Cliff some extra minutes early ij the season to get used to the college game. We will see who starts vs. Syracuse.
 
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A week ago or more I suggested that Young and Mathis should platoon. The Geo injury makes that impractical and presents a different kind of issue.

In this game we saw FDU bust their asses to get back on D.. they did not want to see that alley-oop dunk-fest we shoved down Sacred Heart's throat. Good for FDU.. they played HARD to prevent that.. clearly playing at a higher intensity level than we were... and as they maintained a slim lead.. it fed itself.

Now.. I think a choice is in order...

Do we want to come out ball-to-the-wall in press and transition game? While the opponent's starters are all fresh and in the game?

Or would we be better off waiting for a couple starters to head to their bench to unleash hell?

That choice... that should decide the starting lineup and the 6th and 7th men coming off the bench.

To open in the running transition game.. start Young, Mathis, Omoruyi, Harper and Mag.. then have Mulcahy and Myles come in... maybe Rieber too.

To open in more of a controlled offense.. start Mathis, Mulcahy, Harper, Mag and Myles.. have Young and Omoruyi come off the bench..
 

ScarletDave

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Bac good write up except only like 1 sentence given to Montez Mathis ... tough love for a guy that had 15 points in this game (and 17 last game) ... I feel like because he doesn’t show much personality on the court (always serious, very focused on his game) and he’s a quiet kid he ends up not getting as much love as the bigger personalities. But this dude is probably the top-3 players on the team with Geo and Harper. He hits the 3, he has the clutch ice in his veins, he doesn’t hit the game winning shot but he hits the shot before that to get us into position to win, and makes the steal to set up the game winning shot, used his athleticism just as much as Jacob Young to slice and dice inside and make a tough acrobatic shot just when we needed to stop the bleeding, etc etc ... his game is one of my favorites to watch
 

Greene Rice FIG

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A week ago or more I suggested that Young and Mathis should platoon. The Geo injury makes that impractical and presents a different kind of issue.
In a 20+ point win against FDU we asked Jacob Young to do a lot on both ends of the court. I realize My sky is falling, but will Jacob hold up playing 33 minutes in a B1G schedule always defending the opponents best player and playing a big part in the offense?

in a perfect world you get 25 minutes of balls to the wall energy. I know it doesn’t matter who starts blah blah blah......it does and he should start.
 

Scangg

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In a 20+ point win against FDU we asked Jacob Young to do a lot on both ends of the court. I realize My sky is falling, but will Jacob hold up playing 33 minutes in a B1G schedule always defending the opponents best player and playing a big part in the offense?

in a perfect world you get 25 minutes of balls to the wall energy. I know it doesn’t matter who starts blah blah blah......it does and he should start.
I've never seen Jacob Young tired. Ever. He seems like the type of guy who could run the court all day in pickup and never get tired.
 

RUHouston

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I think we are seeing the effect of a Geo-less team right now. We can’t just simply snap some fingers and expect 100% cohesiveness...the fact that we got over the early game yips proves the talent we have...which is very, very good!

It actually bodes well for the rest of the season; learning to play without Geo will only help when he gets this rest during conference games...other teams won’t be able to game plan stuff when he’s out as easily.

As to JY, I doubt he ever gets tired...
 

jonS

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2 blowouts and numerous options is my guess. Also wanting to get Cliff college experience before conf play starts.

Yes consider the competition, but I thought Myles had a very good game tonight.
Myles low post defense was key last night. . Cliff will be something special but Myles presence underneath the basket was the difference maker.
 
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bac2therac

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In a 20+ point win against FDU we asked Jacob Young to do a lot on both ends of the court. I realize My sky is falling, but will Jacob hold up playing 33 minutes in a B1G schedule always defending the opponents best player and playing a big part in the offense?

in a perfect world you get 25 minutes of balls to the wall energy. I know it doesn’t matter who starts blah blah blah......it does and he should start.
With a healthy Geo..JY won't get those minutes and asked to do as much. This team is incomplete without Geo
 
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Myles doesn't need to be playing a ton of minutes against these small teams, and I'm pretty sure him and Pike are on the same page with that
 
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Degaz-RU

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Yeah just not enough ballhandlers without Geo. Forces Pike to play JY and PM 30+ minutes.

I am slightly worried about defense and cohesiveness on offense. But Pike needs to replace about 50 mpg between Yeboah and McConnell, and now about 80 without Geo. So it’s understandable that the team would seem a little disjointed thus far, as we’re having to weave the freshmen into the rotation. Ultimately, I trust Pike to figure it out.

As for the game itself:

1. It’s clear Pike wants to push the tempo, as JY was sprinting down the court after every FDU miss and going straight to the hole, where he would either dish the ball or go to the tin. JY has 15 assists in two games.

2. Harper showed he can take over a game, but it was all within the offense. He didn’t force anything, and can score at all three levels. Man, if he can shoot 40% from 3-pt range, he will average 15+ ppg, and we will have a true go-to guy that every top teams needs.

3. Mathis is quiet, but he is becoming a solid third option on offense, some of which is the result of his defense. He’s been getting into the passing lanes and creating transition opportunities. He has hit a 3-pointer in both games, and even his misses look good.

4. Mag is definitely the Swiss-Army-knife replacement for what we lose with McConnell being out. He is active on defense, and seems to have good court awareness. He got three buckets just from being in the right place at the right time.

5. Mulcahy struggled a bit, but like someone said above, he still found a way to contribute, with 8 rebounds and 4 assists.

6. Cliff is still a work in progress on defense. Not a surprise for a freshman. He was getting beat in the post by Racine (who was pretty good btw), and he’s actually not as good a shot blocker as I anticipated, though that might just be the coaches telling him to not go for the block every time. But, the THREAT of a block always seems to be there, and he definitely altered some shots.

7. Myles definitely plays better post defense, but we are lucky to have two guys to roam the paint like this, and who bring different skill sets. I suspect Pike has been starting Cliff because he wants us to “run” in transition, and Cliff runs the floor like a deer.

8. I’m wondering about Palmquist. Is he still slowed by the minor injury that kept him out of the two open practices? Or is it like Jerry Carino said, and he’s just an end of the rotation guy right now? I was hoping he’d become a spot up shooter for us, like Thorbjornsonsonsonson on Nebraska.

9. Nice to see Reiber get some playing time when it mattered. He’s going to surprise people I think. But disappointed that he cut the hair.
 

Scangg

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Rewatched the game after being distracted watching it live. Young completely saved Rutgers in the first half especially. The way he can push the pace and get easy buckets in transition was phenomenal, but what really brings his game to another level this season has been his passing and distribution. He got Ron a bunch of his buckets and is doing an excellent job in decision making as to when to look for his own bucket and when to pass. His 3/4 court lead bounce pass to Mathis (who blew his assist) was a thing of beauty and something you would expect from Mulcahy not Young. Add his on ball quickness on D and young has become a really excellent all around player. If he can shoot the 3 a bit then sky is the limit
 
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In a 20+ point win against FDU we asked Jacob Young to do a lot on both ends of the court. I realize My sky is falling, but will Jacob hold up playing 33 minutes in a B1G schedule always defending the opponents best player and playing a big part in the offense?

in a perfect world you get 25 minutes of balls to the wall energy. I know it doesn’t matter who starts blah blah blah......it does and he should start.
He seemed pretty strong late in the game... but it is a compressed schedule right? Shorter gaps between games? Scangg highlighted that long bounce pass.. which required a lot of energy to deliver.. and he did it late. Also agreed with Scangg on Young being the one to spark the turn-around.. since D wasn't being played much by anyone early.... though that does happen when you push the ball.. you use energy on O and are generally out of position to get back.

Yeah.. in a preseason thread I had hoped NO oNE would go north of 30 minutes very often.. and first game that held up.. but already in game 2 I know at least 3 players were 30+... I wouldn't want to see that for a full season.

I wonder if anyone else has noticed that when Young gives up a basket and touches the ball next he likes to take it himself to make up the basket. I had that general impression last year and was reminded of it late when teh FDU guard was allowed easy access to the foul line area by Young who was retreating.. almost under the basket. A pull-up J hit easily and Young gets the inbound and goes coast to coast and hits the layup.

While nice... I think it is bit too emotional a reaction and could easily end badly against a better team. Better to have played proper D and stopped the ball I think.
 
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Greene Rice FIG

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I've never seen Jacob Young tired. Ever. He seems like the type of guy who could run the court all day in pickup and never get tired.
I am worried about cumulative if he played 35. There is so much on his plate without Geo right now. We asked him to stop the best player on FDU on defense (which he did) and then make things happen on offense. This isn’t asking Geo to have the ball in his hands and make things happen on offense and then guard the 3rd best perimeter player on d
 

Scangg

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I am worried about cumulative if he played 35. There is so much on his plate without Geo right now. We asked him to stop the best player on FDU on defense (which he did) and then make things happen on offense. This isn’t asking Geo to have the ball in his hands and make things happen on offense and then guard the 3rd best perimeter player on d
Jacob Young is an endless bundle of energy. Some players are like that and Jacob is one of them. Not going to waste my time worrying about it. Geo will be back soon anyway
 

Kbee3

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I trust Pikiell and know he must have his reasons. I am very surprised Myles isn’t starting and is getting less minutes than Cliff. It doesn’t make sense from at home in front of a TV and not at practice
I agree. I can't see why Miles isn't starting and seeing the bulk of the minutes.
 

BillyC80

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I agree. I can't see why Miles isn't starting and seeing the bulk of the minutes.
I have wondered whether Pike promised Cliff he’d start, as a recruiting strategy to get a top 50 player to commit, and so Pike is simply making good on that promise? Just a thought. But if Cliff starts every game this year, I’ll believe that could be the reason.
 

rufeelinit

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I have wondered whether Pike promised Cliff he’d start, as a recruiting strategy to get a top 50 player to commit, and so Pike is simply making good on that promise? Just a thought. But if Cliff starts every game this year, I’ll believe that could be the reason.
This possible approach seems very anti-Pike to me. I would be a little disappointed if that were the case. More likely sending a message to Myles that he is being outworked in practice or perhaps just limiting the chance of early foul trouble?
 
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