Key performances, quotes, notes & game-changing stat: 14-seed Rutgers vs 11-seed Minnesota

CHICAGO — Here are our key performances, quotes, notes and game-changing statistic from the 14-seed Rutgers men’s basketball team’s 80-69 loss tonight to 11-seed Minnesota in the first round of the Big Ten Tournament at the United Center.

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Big Ten Tournament first round preview: Key players, keys to victory, prediction

CHICAGO — Hours away from tip-off, here’s our opening round breakdown of the Rutgers men’s basketball team’s first-ever appearance in the Big Ten Tournament.

What: 14-seed Rutgers (10-21, 2-16) vs. 11-seed Minnesota (17-14, 6-12)

When: 7 p.m. ET

Where: United Center in Chicago, Illinois, with Big Ten Network broadcasting the action live on television

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Best & Worst Performances: No. 10 Maryland at Rutgers

Not even the extra motivation of Senior Night was enough to will the Rutgers men’s basketball team to a win against the team that started its now 13-game losing streak back on Jan. 14 in No. 10 Maryland. The Scarlet Knights fought valiantly and following a big 3-point shot from senior guard Myles Mack, an upset seemed within reach. But an 8-0 run quickly squashed those hopes with the Terrapins cruising to a 60-50 win inside the Louis Brown Athletic Center. On that note, here’s my look on some of tonight’s best and worst performers.

Best performance: The streaking Terrapins hit a bit of a cold spell in Piscataway with the team shooting just 22-of-57 from the field, but senior guard Dez Wells’ double-double was more than enough to earn his side the win. Wells finished with a game-high 20 points and collected 10 rebounds while also making a number of vital plays down the stretch to secure the victory.

Worst performance: Hyped as one of the top guards in college basketball, Maryland’s Melo Trimble had a night to forget. Despite scoring 10 points, Trimble shot a woeful 3-of-13 from the field along with going 0-of-5 from beyond the arc, never able to get into a rhythm on his jumper.

Best Rutgers performance: On a night meant for the seniors to shine, it was junior center Greg Lewis who stuck out the most. His baseline jump shot was on point all game, and he also had several important put backs off missed shots to keep Rutgers in the game. Lewis finished the night shooting 6-of-10 from the field with a career-high 14 points.

Game changing statistic: Though Maryland’s percentage from the field wasn’t pretty, the Knights also could not buy a bucket. Rutgers finished shooting 32.2 percent from the field and went 4-of-15 on 3-point attempts. In a game that came down to one or two shots made down the stretch, Rutgers lacked that clutch dagger.

Other key notes

-Rutgers senior forward Kadeem Jack had a career-high 16 rebounds.

-With 8 points, senior guard Myles Mack moves past Eddie Jordan for 7th all-time on Rutgers’ all-time scoring list.

-The 13-straight defeats is now the second worst losing streak in Rutgers men’s hoops history.

-Maryland now holds a 5-3 series advantage over the Knights.

-Sean Stewart / Correspondent

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New recruits give Rutgers vital reinforcements ahead of new campaign

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Sophomore midfielder Erik Sa (10) and freshman forward Jason Right (20) will be getting some much needed reinforcements next season. Edwin Gano / Staff Photographer

Calling the Rutgers men’s soccer team’s inaugural season as members of the Big Ten Conference a disappointment is a bit of an understatement.

The Scarlet Knights underperformed immensely despite a promising two-win start finishing the year 6-12-1 and 1-6-1 in conference play.

The final record was the worst under head coach Dan Donigan since his first season in 2010 where they finished 4-11-1.

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Best & Worst Performances, Key Quotes: Indiana at Rutgers

In what was yet another humiliating loss, the Rutgers men’s basketball team dropped its 11th-straight game of the season on Sunday to Indiana at the Louis Brown Athletic Center, 84-54. It was also the Scarlet Knights’ fifth-straight loss by double-digits. Here’s our look at some of tonight’s best and worst performers.

Best performance: Indiana’s Yogi Ferrell finished with a game-high 17 points on 7-of-13 shooting from the field to go along with two three-pointers. The 6-foot guard also secured six rebounds and six assists, turning the ball over just once in 32 minutes. Ferrell, who ranks fourth in the Big Ten in scoring and assists, repeatedly broke down Rutgers’ defense with dribble penetration and pick & roll action. During a 9-0 first-half run, Ferrell dished an alley-oop to 6-foot-9 forward Hanner Mosquera-Perea plus a foul to give Indiana a 19-16 lead.

Worst performance: It was another night to forget for Rutgers senior forward Kadeem Jack. After matching a season-low 2 points last Thursday at Iowa, Jack responded with another dud, scoring just 6 points on 2-of-7 shooting. To make matters worse, he then fouled out of the game with just over 14 minutes to play. It’s the third time in four games the Knights’ second-leading scorer has been held to single-digits in points, and given the team’s overreliance on him and senior guard Myles Mack for offensive production, his absence played a large part in tonight’s drubbing.

Best Rutgers performance: For whatever reason, Greg Lewis knows how to put points on the board against the Hoosiers. The junior center scored a team- and career-high 13 points on a career-high five made shots from the field. Though 11 of his points came in the first half, Lewis also managed to score 10 first-half points against Indiana in Bloomington, which coincidentally was the last time he scored in double-figures.

Game changing statistic: Indiana shot a blistering 53.4 percent from the field on the night, with four Hoosiers scoring double figures. Rutgers head coach Eddie Jordan said the Knights did a sufficient job of getting back in transition and protecting the rim early on but didn’t match up well with Indiana’s small lineups featuring drive and kick action.

Key Quotes:

Head coach Eddie Jordan on how much fight Rutgers has left amid an 11-game losing streak: “If it seems like there’s not enough fight, we just aren’t good enough right now to guard certain things. … Good teams take advantage of a team that’s not doing well, and it doesn’t mean that you don’t have enough fight. You’re just not good enough, sometimes not smart enough. But we’ve got plenty of fight.”

Senior guard Myles Mack on potentially ending his career with the losing streak: “It’s really hard. I don’t really show my emotions much, but it’s coming to that day, it’s coming to an end where I’m not going to be able to play this game on this floor anymore. I’ve played my heart out since my freshman year, and I didn’t know it was going to come this fast. The day is approaching, so it’s just a lot on me, just a lot that I’ve got to think about. Everybody’s here for me, so I’m just out here trying to give it my all for these last couple games.”

Junior center Greg Lewis on staying positive: “It’s real tough, but we’ve got to find a way. We’re desperate right now. There are no excuses. We’ve got to get better.”

Other key notes:

– Ferrell extended the nation’s longest streak of at least one three-pointer made per contest, having now registered a three-point field goal in 59 straight games.

– Indiana junior forward Hanner Mosquera-Perea scored a career-high 13 points in his first game against the Knights having missed the first game in Bloomington with an injury.

– The 30-point margin of victory is the largest Indiana has had against a conference opponent this season.

– Indiana is now 3-0 all-time against Rutgers and 1-0 all-time playing at the RAC.

– Mack’s 10 points moves him into eighth place on Rutgers’ career scoring leader board with 1,614 points, passing Eric Riggins.

– Rutgers freshman Jake Dadika scored his first career point.

- Greg Johnson & Sean Stewart, Correspondents

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Best and Worst performances: Rutgers vs. No. 20 Ohio State

Here’s my look at some of Sunday’s best and worst performances from Rutgers’ 79-60 defeat to No. 20 Ohio State at the Louis Brown Athletic Center.

Best performance: D’Angelo Russell was simply on another level. The No. 3 NBA prospect, according to ESPN’s Chad Ford, delivered a memorable performance, scoring a game-high 23 points while adding 11 assists and 11 rebounds for his first triple-double of the season. The guard was Ohio State’s first freshman to earn a triple-double and only the third Buckeye in history to do so. Russell ripped the Scarlet Knights’ defense to shreds with his athleticism, passing ability and his consistent jump shot making him by far the game’s best performer.

Worst performance: With 22 NBA scouts in attendance, Rutgers forward Kadeem Jack had a golden opportunity to impress. Instead, the 6-foot-9 senior laid an egg. Although he finished with 9 points, Jack struggled to get the ball in the basket going 2-of-8 from the field for 4 points in the first half. He then logged just five minutes in the second half with head coach Eddie Jordan saying the team played harder when he was on the bench. It wasn’t his worst showing in a Rutgers uniform but given who was in attendance, it feels like a missed opportunity.

Best Rutgers performance: Got to give it to Bishop Daniels. Tasked with having to match up with Russell for long stretches, the junior guard at least held his own on the offensive end. Though finishing 5-of-17 from the field is far from ideal, the junior college transfer managed to score two of the Knights’ four 3-point attempts and finished with a team-high 17 points.

Game changing statistic: Has to be Rutgers going 0-of-10 from beyond the arc in the first half. The Knights simply could not buy a bucket, while Ohio State, who was missing the nation’s second best 3-point shooter at 53.2 percent in forward Marc Loving, was 6-of-13 from the 3-point line. The Buckeyes went 0-of-5 from 3 in the second half but the early buckets gave them a comfortable lead from which they never looked back from.

Other key notes:

– Sophomore wing Junior Etou had his second career double-double with 12 points and 11 rebounds while adding a career-high 4 steals.

– Mack made his 100th career start and had five assists to pass 400 assists for his career (403).

– The 8,003 fans in attendance was the largest crowd at the RAC this season.

– Dennis Hopson and Evan Turner (twice) are the only other Buckeyes to record a triple-double.

– The result was the first time in Big Ten Conference play that both Mack and Jack finished the game without scoring in double figures.

- Sean Stewart / Correspondent 

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Rutgers makes strides in preseason exhibition

There were flashes of offensive fluidity — an 17-0 run and 60-percent shooting from the field in the first half, as well as contributions from 11 different scorers.

But not enough for Rutgers head men’s basketball coach Eddie Jordan, who says the Scarlet Knights still have much to build on after their 86-42 preseason exhibition win Saturday against Baruch College at the Louis Brown Athletic Center.

Junior guard Bishop Daniels dunks the ball 19 seconds into the second half Saturday against Barush College. He finished with 11 points in 18 minutes.

Junior guard Bishop Daniels dunks the ball 19 seconds into the second half Saturday against Barush College at the RAC. He collected 11 points in 18 minutes. Tian Li / Staff Photographer

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Freshman forward D.J. Foreman goes for a layup. He finished with 12 points and six rebounds. Tian Li / Staff Photographer

“We need improve and I thought our conditioning needs to get better,” Jordan said. “We wanted to dictate the tempo and we had it in spurts, but not for a majority of the game. There’s a lot for us to work on.”

Four Knights finished in double figures, with sophomore wing Junior Etou scoring a team-high 13 points on 4-of-7 shooting with two 3-pointers.

Junior transfer guard Bishop Daniels jumpstarted the action with nine of Rutgers’ first 15 points in less than five minutes. He tallied 11 points, four rebounds, two assists and a block in 16 minutes to pace the Knights’ backcourt.

The 6-foot-3 Daniels showed off the athleticism Jordan raved about Oct. 21 at Media Day — no more prominently than on his lone basket of the second half.

Off a Barush turnover, Daniels and senior guard Myles Mack exchanged four passes in transition before Daniels finished with an emphatic slam at the rim 19 seconds into the period.

“You can expect a lot of that this year,” Daniels said. “That’s what we plan on doing: forcing turnovers and getting up and down the floor.”

The Knights were without senior forward Kadeem Jack, who continues to rehab a preseason thumb injury. Jordan said Jack will be reevaluated Friday and Saturday and is questionable for next Sunday’s season opener against George Washington.

Junior forward Greg Lewis collected 11 points and five boards, while freshman D.J. Foreman tallied 12 points, six boards and three assists with an extended run at the 4-spot in the second half.

Logging 22 minutes, the 6-foot-8, 230-pound versatile forward showed a consistent ability to attack the paint and get to the rim. Foreman went 5-for-7 from the field with four turnovers.

“I could’ve finished a little bit better,” he said. “I wasn’t as aggressive as I should be. I’m going to get in the gym and work on that.”

Rutgers won the rebounding battle by 18, with freshman center Shaquille Doorson leading all players with 15 boards.

“We’re just trying to different guys in Kadeem’s position — Kerwin, Malick, D.J. — and we’ll see who emerges through the week and see who gets the call on Sunday,” Jordan said. “I don’t know yet.”

The chemistry continues to come along with a half-new roster, which emphasized defense, crossing in transition and post-entry passes, Foreman said.

“We want to be what we call as team lockdown,” Daniels said. “Every time you step out there on the court, you’ve got to have that mentality of defense first. I’m not saying we don’t necessarily have the offensive pieces to go and compete with everybody, but defensively-wise, if we can disrupt a lot of things, it creates more offense for us.”

For updates on the Rutgers men’s basketball team, follow @gregp_j and @TargumSports on Twitter.

- Greg Johnson / Sports Editor

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