Shack’s 7 Keys to a BIG season for2021-2022 Rutgers basketball; #4. “Sustaining success while becoming the hunted instead of the hunter...”

Scarlet Shack

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Hey guys

Everyone knows that I think this is OUR year in men’s basketball . I’ll be a little elusive for now on what exactly thsr is until I throw down my “official prediction “

Whether or not you think that’s the case ...I have identified 7 keys to this season for this to be OUR year in hoops.

“#4: Sustaining success while becoming the hunted instead of the hunter “

Let’s face it ...our basketball program (and you can throw in the football program ) is just tasting some success and hasn’t been the limelight very much

So...over the last two years ...we have worked hard to deserve a national ranking ...only to come down with a major thud

Let’s review ...

2019-2020...coming off the seton hall win , we play an excellent brand of basketball to get to 7-3 in the big ten and 16-5 overall and a 23rd national ranking ...heading up to Madison square garden to play a quickly hyping game against Michigan. And expectations start to massively build .

And What happens ? We come out looking nervous and a bit star-struck under the brighter lights ...and even though we played freaking hard ...lose a game that we managed to attempt 75 shots. We just looked out of whack

Worse...the hangover took nearly a month to get Over. Off the court distractions rear their head. The talk is all about making the NCAA and breaking the streak. Every close lose was another weight on the team shoulders ...and by the time the month of February ended , it was 2 wins out of 8, with onky one good win against illinojs. Even needed rally to win over last place northwestern at the RAC ....and , it took hitting the bottom with one of the worse halves of baskstball at penn state ...and then a week off...to right the ship and get it done in a big way, against Maryland and Purdue .

But we really handled the expectations and the limelight bad the first time around

Last year ...really felt like a step and repeat. We come out hot...and in successive order , beat NCAA teams Syracuse, Maryland. And Illinois in CONVINCING manner. 7-0 and ranked 11th. Expectations was every where . Then Ohio state happened. Now...to our credit , we came out and beat a very good Purdue team ...then Iowa came to the RAC . A real tough loss ...and like the Michigan loss in the garden ...the 24 hour rule didn’t happen and the hangover happened for 2-3 weeks with bad bad losses to Michigan state , Ohio state , Wisconsin and penn state. The talk of Chemistry issues rose and the team quickly looked disjoinited. And while the team would rally with four wins in a row...the team never capture the same momentum that it has in December until the NCAA tourney came .

Two years in a row ...a fast start ...rankings and bright lights came ...expectations rose ...and the team and program didn’t handle the success ...and worse, when the speed bump came , the team hit the bump and way WAY of course for waaay to long

Clearly ...the big ten is a meat grinder of a conference . Without doubt.

But if you want to be on top ...and for RU to have a big season in 2021-2022, we are going to have to be prepared to that once we make our move upward , we are mentally and physically prepared to really take everyone’s best shot at us ...and find ways to respond and get those wins. And more importantly...use the lessons that only experience can bring of the last two years of when things start to go wrong , to get Even more focused and determined to let a speed bump be temporary ...and not a 4-6 game funk

Can’t have a big season with a 2 out of streak 8 like 2019-2020....or losing five in a row like last season ....

Got to be ready to take everyone best shot ...and be ready to bounce back quickly if we do hit a tough spot in a game ...and not let it dominate the next game or the one after.....
 

Greene Rice FIG

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I think the league is aware we have a gun, but I don't think they are that concerned that we will use it.....at least outside the RAC (sorry Jersey Mike, thanks for the $28M, but it is still the RAC).

It is Friday, where is #3. I am thinking it has to do with rebounding...what is taking so long. Are you consulting with Sweat Pee.
 

RUHouston

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Jul 24, 2009
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Once again, great analysis and thoughts, Shack!

In the Pike era I have to think this squad appears to be the first one that might be able to sustain themselves win or lose, hopefully the former. But once a loss comes I have to believe the Leadership of Geo, Ron, Caleb, and Paul keep the wheels on the bus.

IF, and it it's based on anecdotes we've heard, that JY was the anti-glue guy in the locker room along with a disgruntled Tez, then those two guys being gone could also help us with the chemistry dynamic....
 

ruman

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"Somebody said Fair Warning, lord strike that poor boy down"