GAME 22 ILLINOIS: All the way up

bac2therac

Legend
Gold Member
Jul 30, 2001
180,784
92,643
113
52
Belle Mead NJ
And I'm all the way up
And you can stay up
And if you ask anybody where I live
They'll point to the hills and say
Go all the way up
Go all the way up
I'm all the way up
I'm all the way up
Nothing can stop me, I'm all the way up


Rutgers keeps topping themselves. Just when you think you have seen it all. They reach higher and higher. They get better and better. I was not around for the Final 4 run back in 1976 and have always envied you guys who really have made up the core fanbase at the RAC for over 35 years. The closest I got to this was starting with a Temple game in 89 at the RAC my first as a student which really was the beginning of that magical run which would later culminated in the legendary A10 tourney final games vs Penn Sttat which led to RU's first tourney bid since 1983. There was another big run after a slow start to the season in 1991. That team had high expectations but lost to the likes of Duquesne early in the season and were sputtering at 7-6 before turning the jets on and winnning the regular season A10 title and going back to the NCAA tourney in 91. As a student those were great times. There were some big time wins over ranked opponents under Waters but it never quite amounted to anything. I think this stretch of 4 straight wins over ranked opponents is historical and dwarfs anything that this program has done since the Final 4 season.

Folks we are witnessing a similar situation when an upstart 10 seed gets hot and makes a run to the Final 4 in the NCAA tournament. RU handled MSU is the round of 64, took down OSU in the round of 32, dug deep to beat Wisconsin on the road in the round of 16 and then punched their way into the final 4 with a rousing dominance of another higher seeded team. You know what I am talking about too. The competition gets tougher yet Rutgers becomes more imposing and awe inspiring. Think the RU womens NCAA tourney run to the Final 4., Rutgers is white hot right now. Rutgers defense is the best in the world right now bar none. Its not about what they were in November or even what they were just 3 weeks ago. They control their own destiny. Two more games and they may be cutting down the nets in the Big 10. That is how scintillating Rutgers is playing right now. Rutgers is one game out of first place in the Big 10. Rutgers can legitimately win this league the way they are playing. Someone had a thread asking if Rutgers is playing better than any school of the country and the answer is a resounding yes. Nothing can stop them, they're all the way up!

Today RU made #12 Illinois look absurd. This was a complete domination. Do not get fooled by a couple of runs here and there and Illinois cutting it down late. The Rutgers defense tyrannized Illinois. So many players came up in the moments that they had to. Game plan executed to pefection. Coach Pike just spinning that wheel that simply cannot get stop once it is going. The RAC crowd was deranged tonight,. Loudest constant noise in early possessions in a long long time perhaps going back to 89 although there were some jacked up crowds vs SHU back in the early 90s. Everyone showed up and packed the seats...8200 and the blackout looks phenomenal. After the first timeout up 13-7, I think Illinois already knew they were in trouble. I think the fans knew this game was ours if they did their part and they did. Going bonkers on key possession especially defensively in the 2nd half that and Illinois could never find their way back really. A bunch of symbiotes! All the bells and whistles of a RAC game on steroids.

There were so many plays tonight that stick out. Such a team effort. Relentless, imposing, overpowering, smothering, stingy, you cannot find enough words to describe the defense but damn the offense was pretty efficient early. The team obviously rode the wave of the RACcrowd early getting out to that lead. Rutgers was pretty much getting any look they wanted in those first 10 minutes. They did not convert them all but they converted enough. You want to keep momentum rolling. Getting Cliff involved early, then Ron and the unleashing Paul who had some beautiful conversion mid range jumpers. Those are the shots that good teams make. Those shots do not go down like they did the first meeting and Illinois is getting their transition game going. Did you notice, the Illinois had zero transition game..none and even though RU turned the ball over, 14 times. Illinois was intimidated and bothered by RU that they did not push and make RU pay. RU gave up just 2 points in a 5 game stretch where they extended their lead to 13 on a confident Ron Harper banker to go up 24-11. From that point the rest of the half was a typical ugly Big 10 defensive battle. Played pretty evenly, RU has some trouble getting their offense going but were successful in rebounding and showing poise where earlier in the year they would crumble in these moments.

2nd half so Illinois hit a 3 to cut it to 6 but they would never get closer all game. A decisive 14-1 run over 6 minutes put Rutgers in full control. As a fan you just love to see these kind of runs in the 2nd half where Rutgers just takes control. All of sudden, RU up 19 at 47-28. RU cleaned up on the boards, I think they had 10 during this time, they were getting chance point and even Hyatt was tipping them in. Illinois responded with a little 7-0 but then the offensive sequence of the game. Geo who was pretty quiet hit his typical jumper that stopped the bleeding putting RU up 49-35....then came a barrage of 3s that sealed the game. Geo to Mulcahy in the corner for 3, Paul to Ron in the opposite corner for 3. Geo to Dean for his patented Threeber...back to back to back 3s. Illinois was left gasping down 60-37 in needs of a defibrillator. Caleb would get a steal and a bucket to give RU a new biggest lead of 23 at 60-37. Illinois did try to make it interesting going on a 22-8 run to cut it to 9 at 67-58. While it may have made some nervous. RU was never in doubt of losing this game. Time after time they came up in the last few minutes when it mattered even as it looked like they were struggling handling the press. Ron Harper came up with 75 foot drive to the hoop uncontested for a dunk that realistically put this game out of reach. Paul and Cliff did their thing again and Geo hit a couple of free throws. In fact I think it was better for them that they had to close out a game around 10 points rather than win by 25. Come NCAA tourney time, schools will make runs like these and sometimes the leads will not be from a 23 point starting point. Learning from some mistakes tonight will pay dividends later.

It was not just a few plays, it was all plays. Team ball and whatever you want to call RU they are like some sort of giant walking amoeba moving up and down the court absorbing Illinois and spitting it out. 40 minutes of hell. No need to go through stats. They will go up and down with each game. Each player is as important as the next. Some days some will score more than others or more rebounds or more steals. Each player takes his turn. Special shoutout to the bench players. It seems like one or two players step up in their roles and deliver and Hyatt/Reiber did tonight. Plus the guys who saw little or no time are most certainly contributing in practice and they need a special thank you for all they do to in preparing the starters during this gauntlet

So I have been hammering the idea of taking one game at a time for the past few weeks and again that is the approach. A possible battle for first place at Purdue. Every recap, it seems like the each game is simply bigger than the next. It is very tough to beat a team 2x in this league. As Illinois who won the first meeting vs RU by 35. A new kind of challenge but Rutgers has answered all its challenges so far going 4-0 in the gauntlet. They are on the kind of run that basketball players can only dream of. All this team does is win because they are all the way up and aint no stoppin us now. The fans take a bow tonight. The RAC is the best atmosphere is all of college ball, We have the best defense in the nation right now. We are playing better than any school in the country right now. Enjoy these moments. These are the days to remember.

Where does that put Rutgers in bracketology. See my thread for an update tomorrow morning. Rutgers is all the way up. I was one of the few bracketologists to have RU in the field BEFORE this game. After the win tonight, RU's 6th in Quad 1, I have RU shooting way up beyond the first four byes. Not exactly what see I have them right now but it very well may be better than the 10 seed line AT THIS MOMENT...this always change but right now Rutgers has propelled itself over several bubble schools whose flimsy resumes are looking sorry next to Rutgers

Still work to do...cannot go 0-5.


Never say that Bac is an old man. Here is a song that that the under 35 crowd might know. Not my genre but I'M ALL THE WAY UP....... (oh and it comes with a Tipper Gore pmrc warning)


 

njcanesfan

Senior
Gold Member
Dec 1, 2005
1,940
1,722
113
Tampa Florida!
And I'm all the way up
And you can stay up
And if you ask anybody where I live
They'll point to the hills and say
Go all the way up
Go all the way up
I'm all the way up
I'm all the way up
Nothing can stop me, I'm all the way up


Rutgers keeps topping themselves. Just when you think you have seen it all. They reach higher and higher. They get better and better. I was not around for the Final 4 run back in 1976 and have always envied you guys who really have made up the core fanbase at the RAC for over 35 years. The closest I got to this was starting with a Temple game in 89 at the RAC my first as a student which really was the beginning of that magical run which would later culminated in the legendary A10 tourney final games vs Penn Sttat which led to RU's first tourney bid since 1983. There was another big run after a slow start to the season in 1991. That team had high expectations but lost to the likes of Duquesne early in the season and were sputtering at 7-6 before turning the jets on and winnning the regular season A10 title and going back to the NCAA tourney in 91. As a student those were great times. There were some big time wins over ranked opponents under Waters but it never quite amounted to anything. I think this stretch of 4 straight wins over ranked opponents is historical and dwarfs anything that this program has done since the Final 4 season.

Folks we are witnessing a similar situation when an upstart 10 seed gets hot and makes a run to the Final 4 in the NCAA tournament. RU handled MSU is the round of 64, took down OSU in the round of 32, dug deep to beat Wisconsin on the road in the round of 16 and then punched their way into the final 4 with a rousing dominance of another higher seeded team. You know what I am talking about too. The competition gets tougher yet Rutgers becomes more imposing and awe inspiring. Think the RU womens NCAA tourney run to the Final 4., Rutgers is white hot right now. Rutgers defense is the best in the world right now bar none. Its not about what they were in November or even what they were just 3 weeks ago. They control their own destiny. Two more games and they may be cutting down the nets in the Big 10. That is how scintillating Rutgers is playing right now. Rutgers is one game out of first place in the Big 10. Rutgers can legitimately win this league the way they are playing. Someone had a thread asking if Rutgers is playing better than any school of the country and the answer is a resounding yes. Nothing can stop them, they're all the way up!

Today RU made #12 Illinois look absurd. This was a complete domination. Do not get fooled by a couple of runs here and there and Illinois cutting it down late. The Rutgers defense tyrannized Illinois. So many players came up in the moments that they had to. Game plan executed to pefection. Coach Pike just spinning that wheel that simply cannot get stop once it is going. The RAC crowd was deranged tonight,. Loudest constant noise in early possessions in a long long time perhaps going back to 89 although there were some jacked up crowds vs SHU back in the early 90s. Everyone showed up and packed the seats...8200 and the blackout looks phenomenal. After the first timeout up 13-7, I think Illinois already knew they were in trouble. I think the fans knew this game was ours if they did their part and they did. Going bonkers on key possession especially defensively in the 2nd half that and Illinois could never find their way back really. A bunch of symbiotes! All the bells and whistles of a RAC game on steroids.

There were so many plays tonight that stick out. Such a team effort. Relentless, imposing, overpowering, smothering, stingy, you cannot find enough words to describe the defense but damn the offense was pretty efficient early. The team obviously rode the wave of the RACcrowd early getting out to that lead. Rutgers was pretty much getting any look they wanted in those first 10 minutes. They did not convert them all but they converted enough. You want to keep momentum rolling. Getting Cliff involved early, then Ron and the unleashing Paul who had some beautiful conversion mid range jumpers. Those are the shots that good teams make. Those shots do not go down like they did the first meeting and Illinois is getting their transition game going. Did you notice, the Illinois had zero transition game..none and even though RU turned the ball over, 14 times. Illinois was intimidated and bothered by RU that they did not push and make RU pay. RU gave up just 2 points in a 5 game stretch where they extended their lead to 13 on a confident Ron Harper banker to go up 24-11. From that point the rest of the half was a typical ugly Big 10 defensive battle. Played pretty evenly, RU has some trouble getting their offense going but were successful in rebounding and showing poise where earlier in the year they would crumble in these moments.

2nd half so Illinois hit a 3 to cut it to 6 but they would never get closer all game. A decisive 14-1 run over 6 minutes put Rutgers in full control. As a fan you just love to see these kind of runs in the 2nd half where Rutgers just takes control. All of sudden, RU up 19 at 47-28. RU cleaned up on the boards, I think they had 10 during this time, they were getting chance point and even Hyatt was tipping them in. Illinois responded with a little 7-0 but then the offensive sequence of the game. Geo who was pretty quiet hit his typical jumper that stopped the bleeding putting RU up 49-35....then came a barrage of 3s that sealed the game. Geo to Mulcahy in the corner for 3, Paul to Ron in the opposite corner for 3. Geo to Dean for his patented Threeber...back to back to back 3s. Illinois was left gasping down 60-37 in needs of a defibrillator. Caleb would get a steal and a bucket to give RU a new biggest lead of 23 at 60-37. Illinois did try to make it interesting going on a 22-8 run to cut it to 9 at 67-58. While it may have made some nervous. RU was never in doubt of losing this game. Time after time they came up in the last few minutes when it mattered even as it looked like they were struggling handling the press. Ron Harper came up with 75 foot drive to the hoop uncontested for a dunk that realistically put this game out of reach. Paul and Cliff did their thing again and Geo hit a couple of free throws. In fact I think it was better for them that they had to close out a game around 10 points rather than win by 25. Come NCAA tourney time, schools will make runs like these and sometimes the leads will not be from a 23 point starting point. Learning from some mistakes tonight will pay dividends later.

It was not just a few plays, it was all plays. Team ball and whatever you want to call RU they are like some sort of giant walking amoeba moving up and down the court absorbing Illinois and spitting it out. 40 minutes of hell. No need to go through stats. They will go up and down with each game. Each player is as important as the next. Some days some will score more than others or more rebounds or more steals. Each player takes his turn. Special shoutout to the bench players. It seems like one or two players step up in their roles and deliver and Hyatt/Reiber did tonight. Plus the guys who saw little or no time are most certainly contributing in practice and they need a special thank you for all they do to in preparing the starters during this gauntlet

So I have been hammering the idea of taking one game at a time for the past few weeks and again that is the approach. A possible battle for first place at Purdue. Every recap, it seems like the each game is simply bigger than the next. It is very tough to beat a team 2x in this league. As Illinois who won the first meeting vs RU by 35. A new kind of challenge but Rutgers has answered all its challenges so far going 4-0 in the gauntlet. They are on the kind of run that basketball players can only dream of. All this team does is win because they are all the way up and aint no stoppin us now. The fans take a bow tonight. The RAC is the best atmosphere is all of college ball, We have the best defense in the nation right now. We are playing better than any school in the country right now. Enjoy these moments. These are the days to remember.

Where does that put Rutgers in bracketology. See my thread for an update tomorrow morning. Rutgers is all the way up. I was one of the few bracketologists to have RU in the field BEFORE this game. After the win tonight, RU's 6th in Quad 1, I have RU shooting way up beyond the first four byes. Not exactly what see I have them right now but it very well may be better than the 10 seed line AT THIS MOMENT...this always change but right now Rutgers has propelled itself over several bubble schools whose flimsy resumes are looking sorry next to Rutgers

Still work to do...cannot go 0-5.


Never say that Bac is an old man. Here is a song that that the under 35 crowd might know. Not my genre but I'M ALL THE WAY UP....... (oh and it comes with a Tipper Gore pmrc warning)


Okay bac w the hip hop.
 

HPNJRUfan

All American
Gold Member
Mar 6, 2003
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Highland Park, NJ
"Yacht Rock"
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Scangg

Heisman Winner
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Mar 20, 2016
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San Diego
I loveeee that we crashed the offensive boards. People always say how that will lead to easy transition buckets, but it mostly does not. Especially if you attack smart.

If a team is getting crushed on the boards it can make the team try to compensate and actually slow down the transition game

Outrebounded the #1 rebounding team in the B1G by 18... 18!

Cliff was phenomenal but this entire run has been a TEAM effort. The box score is so pleasing to the eyes

Bac getting turnt! All the way up!
 

Scangg

Heisman Winner
Gold Member
Mar 20, 2016
13,372
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San Diego
Grandison Williams Plummer combine for 9 points in 73 minutes on 4-18 shooting 1-11 from 3... 5 rebounds 4 assists no steal no blocks

Not sure why BU goes so small. RJ Melendez got beat by Harper at the 4, but he should have tried him at the 3 and against Paul. RJ showed some game. He will be tough next year after he puts on a little muscle

It's been made clear at this point. We will exploit a size mismatch if you try to throw a small guard at Paul. It won't work. This forces mismatches for Caleb and throws coaches out of normal rotations trying to figure out what might work
 

Degaz-RU

Heisman Winner
Gold Member
Dec 19, 2002
16,124
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I would have called this recap “Payback’s a bitch.” Other than that, terrific post bac.

Can we talk about the on-ball perimeter defense? Caleb and Geo teamed up to contain Plummer and Frazier, and Paul has now become a really good defender. We need to put the “Paul is bad on defense” refrain to bed — he is now a plus defender, maybe not on an elite level, but he’s “good.”
 

zebnatto

All Conference
May 7, 2008
3,534
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Entirely team performance. Everybody contributed. We drubbed the Illini not because Ron and Geo went a combined and fluky 16/24 from D but because of smart, tough basketball by five guys at a time.

Recruits, are you listening? (Any at the game last night?)
 

rufeelinit

Heisman Winner
May 16, 2010
11,360
3,018
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That was a talented Illinois team we beat last night. While we made them look pedestrian at times, they are good and deep.

A team effort.

We got contributions from pretty much everyone who got in the game. The players have settled into roles on both ends and we are shooting the ball with confidence. While our FG % was down a bit from other games during the streak, we continue to shoot it better than we have. The cohesiveness of the defensive effort spearheaded by McConnell and Cliff is truly a joy to watch. While they get caught every once in a while, the coordination on switches and doubles actually confuses me at time. While I am expecting a poor shooting game here at some point, the defense will give us a shot and can travel as well.
 

Greene Rice FIG

Hall of Famer
Dec 30, 2005
30,806
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Entirely team performance. Everybody contributed. We drubbed the Illini not because Ron and Geo went a combined and fluky 16/24 from D but because of smart, tough basketball by five guys at a time.

Recruits, are you listening? (Any at the game last night?)
We were a pedestrian 5-15 from 3 I believe, This I love to see...no fool's gold.
 

Greene Rice FIG

Hall of Famer
Dec 30, 2005
30,806
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Kofi came to the game with a half tank of gas. Cliff's tanks was full. When Kofi took a pit stop early in the 2nd half Pike kept Cliff in. My guests were impressed when i predicted the next possession the ball will be going to Cliff on the low box. Pike writing Box Roselle on the white board sort of helped.
 

NewJerseyHawk

Heisman Winner
Gold Member
Jan 11, 2007
19,339
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Kofi came to the game with a half tank of gas. Cliff's tanks was full. When Kofi took a pit stop early in the 2nd half Pike kept Cliff in. My guests were impressed when i predicted the next possession the ball will be going to Cliff on the low box. Pike writing Box Roselle on the white board sort of helped.

He is developing a left and right hand.....how many times did we see Myles, drop in, back down to try and get to his dominant right hand.....rarely if ever went left. Cliff is developing some steps forward and learning at a rapid pace.
 

goru7

All Conference
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Dec 12, 2005
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I said it before the gauntlet started right after the comeback at Northwestern fell short , that Paul has changed and he will make everyone better. While everyone was lamenting the gauntlet , I was confident Rutgers under Pike plays to the front of the jersey. When they see a number in front of a team , their focus, their effort , their shooting. ,their rebounding , their foul shooting , and most importantly their defense , goes to another level.
It is now 9 straight good to great halves of basketball . Amazing of the 4 ranked wins in a row , Illinois was the easiest victory even though we beat MSU by 21 , supposedly the matchup that people did not love. I was pretty confident payback was due especially how Illinois was laughing and disrespectful at the end of the December game . We have dominated them in the last 3 RAC games , and got blown out away earlier away and in Big 10 tourney last year and lost close games / maybe OT game at their place. We normally match up just fine.

The 9 straight halves of really good basketball has to initially be credited to Paul as that Paul decided to be the high school triple double . threat and become a scorer and a shooter and not just a great passer. But besides his making the whole team better, the main takeaway is that we have become a balanced scoring team with offensive threats everywhere. Early in the year , if Ron or Geo did not score 25-30 points , we had little chance of winning. The opposite is happening and if we get 5 guys in double figures between 20 and 10 we have an excellent chance of winning (MSU -6; Ohio State 4; Wisconsin-4 and Illinois 4 and if Geo doesn’t miss 3 foul shots it would have been 5 guys ).

Funny also is that our defense has been turned up and has been mentioned before our defense fuels our offense and our transition game and it has been very evident. We have outscored all 4 teams in transition where we were not before the gauntlet. Caleb has set the tone but it is infectious as Geo and Paul defense has improved tremendously to go along with Cliff and Ron who had been solid all year. Our block shots , part of the defense , have improved as have the shots we are altering , leading to transition and easier baskets , which has drastically improved our shooting % offensively.

4-0 into this 8 game gauntlet and making history as the first unranked team to beat 4 ranked teams consecutively. But probably even more impressive we beat 4 top 16 teams (ILL-12; MSU-13; Wis-14; Ohio State-16) . Even more impressive is we were the better team and deserved to win , with only the Ohio State game a toss up . Purdue is next and I like our chances as we string good to great halves together. We are probably already in the NCAA tourney , but I am greedy now , and realistic, and the Big 10 Title or a share of it , is right in front of us. What a story ( and movie ) that would be. Clearly , Pike’s best team ever.
 

goru7

All Conference
Gold Member
Dec 12, 2005
3,643
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Kofi came to the game with a half tank of gas. Cliff's tanks was full. When Kofi took a pit stop early in the 2nd half Pike kept Cliff in. My guests were impressed when i predicted the next possession the ball will be going to Cliff on the low box. Pike writing Box Roselle on the white board sort of helped.
You coming around yet? 9 straight good to great halves of basketball , offensively , defensively and at the foul line with effort thrown in as we outrebounded Illinois 46-28.
 
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ScarletNut

All Conference
Jul 27, 2001
4,616
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And I'm all the way up
And you can stay up
And if you ask anybody where I live
They'll point to the hills and say
Go all the way up
Go all the way up
I'm all the way up
I'm all the way up
Nothing can stop me, I'm all the way up


Rutgers keeps topping themselves. Just when you think you have seen it all. They reach higher and higher. They get better and better. I was not around for the Final 4 run back in 1976 and have always envied you guys who really have made up the core fanbase at the RAC for over 35 years. The closest I got to this was starting with a Temple game in 89 at the RAC my first as a student which really was the beginning of that magical run which would later culminated in the legendary A10 tourney final games vs Penn Sttat which led to RU's first tourney bid since 1983. There was another big run after a slow start to the season in 1991. That team had high expectations but lost to the likes of Duquesne early in the season and were sputtering at 7-6 before turning the jets on and winnning the regular season A10 title and going back to the NCAA tourney in 91. As a student those were great times. There were some big time wins over ranked opponents under Waters but it never quite amounted to anything. I think this stretch of 4 straight wins over ranked opponents is historical and dwarfs anything that this program has done since the Final 4 season.

Folks we are witnessing a similar situation when an upstart 10 seed gets hot and makes a run to the Final 4 in the NCAA tournament. RU handled MSU is the round of 64, took down OSU in the round of 32, dug deep to beat Wisconsin on the road in the round of 16 and then punched their way into the final 4 with a rousing dominance of another higher seeded team. You know what I am talking about too. The competition gets tougher yet Rutgers becomes more imposing and awe inspiring. Think the RU womens NCAA tourney run to the Final 4., Rutgers is white hot right now. Rutgers defense is the best in the world right now bar none. Its not about what they were in November or even what they were just 3 weeks ago. They control their own destiny. Two more games and they may be cutting down the nets in the Big 10. That is how scintillating Rutgers is playing right now. Rutgers is one game out of first place in the Big 10. Rutgers can legitimately win this league the way they are playing. Someone had a thread asking if Rutgers is playing better than any school of the country and the answer is a resounding yes. Nothing can stop them, they're all the way up!

Today RU made #12 Illinois look absurd. This was a complete domination. Do not get fooled by a couple of runs here and there and Illinois cutting it down late. The Rutgers defense tyrannized Illinois. So many players came up in the moments that they had to. Game plan executed to pefection. Coach Pike just spinning that wheel that simply cannot get stop once it is going. The RAC crowd was deranged tonight,. Loudest constant noise in early possessions in a long long time perhaps going back to 89 although there were some jacked up crowds vs SHU back in the early 90s. Everyone showed up and packed the seats...8200 and the blackout looks phenomenal. After the first timeout up 13-7, I think Illinois already knew they were in trouble. I think the fans knew this game was ours if they did their part and they did. Going bonkers on key possession especially defensively in the 2nd half that and Illinois could never find their way back really. A bunch of symbiotes! All the bells and whistles of a RAC game on steroids.

There were so many plays tonight that stick out. Such a team effort. Relentless, imposing, overpowering, smothering, stingy, you cannot find enough words to describe the defense but damn the offense was pretty efficient early. The team obviously rode the wave of the RACcrowd early getting out to that lead. Rutgers was pretty much getting any look they wanted in those first 10 minutes. They did not convert them all but they converted enough. You want to keep momentum rolling. Getting Cliff involved early, then Ron and the unleashing Paul who had some beautiful conversion mid range jumpers. Those are the shots that good teams make. Those shots do not go down like they did the first meeting and Illinois is getting their transition game going. Did you notice, the Illinois had zero transition game..none and even though RU turned the ball over, 14 times. Illinois was intimidated and bothered by RU that they did not push and make RU pay. RU gave up just 2 points in a 5 game stretch where they extended their lead to 13 on a confident Ron Harper banker to go up 24-11. From that point the rest of the half was a typical ugly Big 10 defensive battle. Played pretty evenly, RU has some trouble getting their offense going but were successful in rebounding and showing poise where earlier in the year they would crumble in these moments.

2nd half so Illinois hit a 3 to cut it to 6 but they would never get closer all game. A decisive 14-1 run over 6 minutes put Rutgers in full control. As a fan you just love to see these kind of runs in the 2nd half where Rutgers just takes control. All of sudden, RU up 19 at 47-28. RU cleaned up on the boards, I think they had 10 during this time, they were getting chance point and even Hyatt was tipping them in. Illinois responded with a little 7-0 but then the offensive sequence of the game. Geo who was pretty quiet hit his typical jumper that stopped the bleeding putting RU up 49-35....then came a barrage of 3s that sealed the game. Geo to Mulcahy in the corner for 3, Paul to Ron in the opposite corner for 3. Geo to Dean for his patented Threeber...back to back to back 3s. Illinois was left gasping down 60-37 in needs of a defibrillator. Caleb would get a steal and a bucket to give RU a new biggest lead of 23 at 60-37. Illinois did try to make it interesting going on a 22-8 run to cut it to 9 at 67-58. While it may have made some nervous. RU was never in doubt of losing this game. Time after time they came up in the last few minutes when it mattered even as it looked like they were struggling handling the press. Ron Harper came up with 75 foot drive to the hoop uncontested for a dunk that realistically put this game out of reach. Paul and Cliff did their thing again and Geo hit a couple of free throws. In fact I think it was better for them that they had to close out a game around 10 points rather than win by 25. Come NCAA tourney time, schools will make runs like these and sometimes the leads will not be from a 23 point starting point. Learning from some mistakes tonight will pay dividends later.

It was not just a few plays, it was all plays. Team ball and whatever you want to call RU they are like some sort of giant walking amoeba moving up and down the court absorbing Illinois and spitting it out. 40 minutes of hell. No need to go through stats. They will go up and down with each game. Each player is as important as the next. Some days some will score more than others or more rebounds or more steals. Each player takes his turn. Special shoutout to the bench players. It seems like one or two players step up in their roles and deliver and Hyatt/Reiber did tonight. Plus the guys who saw little or no time are most certainly contributing in practice and they need a special thank you for all they do to in preparing the starters during this gauntlet

So I have been hammering the idea of taking one game at a time for the past few weeks and again that is the approach. A possible battle for first place at Purdue. Every recap, it seems like the each game is simply bigger than the next. It is very tough to beat a team 2x in this league. As Illinois who won the first meeting vs RU by 35. A new kind of challenge but Rutgers has answered all its challenges so far going 4-0 in the gauntlet. They are on the kind of run that basketball players can only dream of. All this team does is win because they are all the way up and aint no stoppin us now. The fans take a bow tonight. The RAC is the best atmosphere is all of college ball, We have the best defense in the nation right now. We are playing better than any school in the country right now. Enjoy these moments. These are the days to remember.

Where does that put Rutgers in bracketology. See my thread for an update tomorrow morning. Rutgers is all the way up. I was one of the few bracketologists to have RU in the field BEFORE this game. After the win tonight, RU's 6th in Quad 1, I have RU shooting way up beyond the first four byes. Not exactly what see I have them right now but it very well may be better than the 10 seed line AT THIS MOMENT...this always change but right now Rutgers has propelled itself over several bubble schools whose flimsy resumes are looking sorry next to Rutgers

Still work to do...cannot go 0-5.


Never say that Bac is an old man. Here is a song that that the under 35 crowd might know. Not my genre but I'M ALL THE WAY UP....... (oh and it comes with a Tipper Gore pmrc warning)


Great recap AND another verbal barrage. “tyrannized”!!! Cracking me up.
 

RU23

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Beating OSU and MSU when they shot 21-42 from 3 was a great sign. If we can beat teams even when they're doing that then we could beat cold-shooting teams (as Wisconsin and Illinois were)
This! Some friends were saying they thought MSU and OSU played poorly, I told them they played mostly great (MSU in the first half, OSU in both halves). We were just better, and we were better than Wisconsin and Illinois too.
 

Greene Rice FIG

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You coming around yet? 9 straight good to great halves of basketball , offensively , defensively and at the foul line with effort thrown in as we outrebounded Illinois 46-28.
My thoughts on this team are grounded and rational. I know what we are and what we aren’t.
 

Big boy stan

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Great writeup as always BAC.
I know you mentioned Paul to Ron for the corner 3 in the 2nd half but this plays needs to be remembered. In what Rutger's universe does a 35 foot baseline bounce pass with crazy english end up with a 3 point swish. Not the most important play of the game but WOW
 

RUPete

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Great recap! And your point about the bench guys in practice is a good one. During one of Paul's post-game interviews (think it was on the Big 10 Network) he mentioned guys in practice doing a great job getting the team prepared for these games. He specifically mentioned Luke Nathan playing the role of Kofi in practice.

Also a great point at the end: can't go 0-5 down the stretch. I don't see that happening as this team just seems really focused on the one possession at a time mentality - not even one game at a time.
 

RUPete

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Great writeup as always BAC.
I know you mentioned Paul to Ron for the corner 3 in the 2nd half but this plays needs to be remembered. In what Rutger's universe does a 35 foot baseline bounce pass with crazy english end up with a 3 point swish. Not the most important play of the game but WOW
That pass almost looked like a golf shot the way it curled back to Ron, I have no idea how Paul saw where RHJ was.
 

G- RUnit

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Grandison Williams Plummer combine for 9 points in 73 minutes on 4-18 shooting 1-11 from 3... 5 rebounds 4 assists no steal no blocks

Not sure why BU goes so small. RJ Melendez got beat by Harper at the 4, but he should have tried him at the 3 and against Paul. RJ showed some game. He will be tough next year after he puts on a little muscle

It's been made clear at this point. We will exploit a size mismatch if you try to throw a small guard at Paul. It won't work. This forces mismatches for Caleb and throws coaches out of normal rotations trying to figure out what might work
Melendez going to be very good. Sweet stroke at the line too! Having said that Harper ate him going to the basket.
 
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G- RUnit

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Great writeup as always BAC.
I know you mentioned Paul to Ron for the corner 3 in the 2nd half but this plays needs to be remembered. In what Rutger's universe does a 35 foot baseline bounce pass with crazy english end up with a 3 point swish. Not the most important play of the game but WOW
That was a crazy good pass.
 

Loyal_2RU

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Kofi came to the game with a half tank of gas. Cliff's tanks was full. When Kofi took a pit stop early in the 2nd half Pike kept Cliff in. My guests were impressed when i predicted the next possession the ball will be going to Cliff on the low box. Pike writing Box Roselle on the white board sort of helped.
Kofi came with great energy.
His relaxed smile at the start of the game did not speak of half a trank.

No excuses,
no retreat baby no surrender.

 

RUDiddy777

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He is developing a left and right hand.....how many times did we see Myles, drop in, back down to try and get to his dominant right hand.....rarely if ever went left. Cliff is developing some steps forward and learning at a rapid pace.

He just put the B1G on notice with that reverse alley-oop and that dunk where it looked like he was walking on air. There aren’t a lot of 7 footers who can do that.

As of Fall 2022-23 this conference belongs to him.
 
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ScarletDave

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Watched Purdue last night sweat it out against Northwestern until late. Combined with their near losses and the L that came in the last 2 weeks or so. You realize we are going to beat them for the 5th straight game.

We are going to win the Big Ten
 

Scangg

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San Diego
Watched Purdue last night sweat it out against Northwestern until late. Combined with their near losses and the L that came in the last 2 weeks or so. You realize we are going to beat them for the 5th straight game.

We are going to win the Big Ten
Purdue didn't look great last night. Every team is beatable
 

BillyC80

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Great writeup as always BAC.
I know you mentioned Paul to Ron for the corner 3 in the 2nd half but this plays needs to be remembered. In what Rutger's universe does a 35 foot baseline bounce pass with crazy english end up with a 3 point swish. Not the most important play of the game but WOW
Mind-altering pass. When Mulcahy is on the floor every one of our guys has to be laser focused and aware as they maneuver to get open, because Paul will find them for an open look.
 
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Booty Maximus

Redshirt
May 29, 2001
42
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Impressive performance, the Illini just died by the 3 last night.

This is quite the trajectory your team is on....

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