Rutgers University Introduces Eddie Jordan

Rutgers cleans up quick under Jordan, nabs another commitment

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After the scandal involving Mike Rice at Rutgers, no one would’ve blamed new coach Eddie Jordan for essentially conceding the 2013-14 season, the Scarlet Knights final one with the (now) American Athletic Conference before heading to the Big Ten.

Though it sounds like Jordan won’t be conceding anything, according to Brendan Prunty of  the Newark Star-Ledger.

Despite starting with four scholarship players when he was announced as the new coach a few months ago, Jordan has already gotten several players to stick in New Brunswick — including Jerome Seagears (who came back) and Wally Judge — as well as grabbing several high-level commitments from the 2014 class.

The most recent commitment was 2014 shooting guard Mike Williams out of Brooklyn, N.Y. Williams is the third commitment for Jordan for 2014, joining power forward Dwayne Foreman and junior college shooting guard Bishop Daniels of ASA College. He’s also added Pittsburgh transfer J.J. Moore.

For 2013, Rutgers still have three commitments in incoming freshman power forward Junior Etou and JuCo point guard D’Von Campbell and shooting guard Craig Brown.

Jordan’s quick rise at Rutgers isn’t going to put the Scarlet Knights on-par with the elites yet. But Jordan, despite his own recent troubles regarding his educational situation at the school, has at the very least been able to bring the name of Rutgers basketball back to a respectable level in the region — all three of his 2014 recruits are from the northeast — and, even though the athletic department is still sifting through more trouble, he’s been able to keep recruiting at a respectable level.

And while his two assistants — whose contract extensions, with Jordan’s endorsement, are still awaiting approval by the university — helped navigate, they quickly threw the credit back to their boss.

“Eddie closed every kid,” Cox said emphatically. “Eddie. Closed. Every. Kid.”

The most impressive thing Jordan has been able to do is probably the fact that he’s separated the basketball program from the Mike Rice scandal swiftly (the athletic department is still dealing with it, but from a hardwood standpoint, you’re not hearing much from the leftover assistants or players.)

Rutgers isn’t expected to compete with the top teams in the AAC/Big Ten immediately, but they’re back to basketball respectability quickly this offseason. Given the summer that athletic department has had, that’s an accomplishment.

Follow David Harten on Twitter at @David_Harten

VIDEOS: Rhode Island, Maryland exchange heated words in Cancun

Dan Hurley
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No. 2 Maryland finally found their rhythm on Wednesday night, blowing out a good Rhode Island team, 86-63, in the finals of the Cancun Challenge.

Melo Trimble and Rasheed Sulaimon combined for 34 points and eight assists on 13-for-14 shooting and Robert Carter added 15 points, nine boards, three assists and three blocks. Peak Maryland, which is what we saw tonight, is really dangerous.

But Peak Maryland wasn’t the story after the game, as tempers flared in the waning minutes.

It started when Maryland coach Mark Turgeon called a timeout with less than two minutes remaining. Jake Layman had just hit a three to put Maryland up by 24 points and Turgeon wanted to get his walk-ons in the game. Hurley said to the Maryland bench, “We’ll see you again, boy,” according to Inside Maryland Sports, which prompted this reaction from Turgeon:

After the game, the two teams had to be separated in layup lines. According to reports from IMS and from the Baltimore Sun, Hurley was cursing at Maryland players as he was shaking their hands after the game. According Doug Gottlieb, who called the game for CBS Sports Network, Trimble said that the Rhode Island team wanted to “fight us”:

Wayne Selden stars as Kansas wins the title in Maui

Wayne Selden Jr., Jeff Roberson
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The last time we wrote about Wayne Selden in this space, it was my colleague Scott Phillips who questioned, after a poor performance in the Champions Classic, whether or not Selden is capable of bring a primary scorer for a team with NCAA title aspirations.

At the time, it wasn’t an unfair question to ask.

Selden is a former top 15 recruit. He is a guy who was expected to go one-and-done that played poorly in the first big game of his third year on campus. But after three days it Maui, it appears that the old Wayne Selden is gone.

[MORE: Kansas got Cheick Diallo news today]

He capped an MVP performance in the Maui Invitational with 25 points and seven boards on 8-for-11 shooting as the No. 5 Kansas Jayhawks knocked off No. 19 Vanderbilt, 70-63, in the title game. Selden was terrific for the entire weekend, averaging 21.5 points in the two games against Division I competition and shooting 12-for-17 from beyond the arc in the three game tournament.

It was the best that we’ve seen Selden play during his Jayhawk career, and it came in a game the Jayhawks desperately needed it. Vanderbilt is a damn good team. They’re ranked 19th, which may actually be too low, and they seem to clearly be the biggest challenger to Kentucky in the SEC. They jumped out to a double-digit lead on Kansas in the first half as the Jayhawks seemed to be sleep-walking early in the game.

Enter Selden. He drilled three threes in the first half and scored 13 of the 26 Jayhawk points to keep them close. In other words, he played like a star on a night Kansas desperately needed someone to step up and play like a star. Remember: this is a dude that had enough talent and potential in high school to be considered a McDonald’s All-American and a potential lottery pick. The ability is there:

(That move is filthy.)

The question has always been whether or not he is capable of putting it all together, of being the guy that can be relied upon to make the big play in the big moment, to carry a team with title aspirations.

And to be fair, the jury is still out in that regard. Are we just going to ignore those four free throws he clanged down the stretch?

But seeing Selden have this kind of performance in a game like this against a team that is this good is unquestionably a positive for Kansas moving forward.