Tag: Mike Rice

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Kadeem Jack, DI’s most underappreciated junior?

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It hasn’t been a successful first season for Rutgers coach Eddie Jordan. Wins against Canisius and Temple have been off-set by a 4-10 conference record (10-17 overall), and the Scarlet Knights haven’t been able to post consecutive victories since the New Year. However, the team’s struggles shouldn’t detract from the play of Kadeem Jack, the team’s sole bright spot and arguably the nation’s most underappreciated junior.

To recap how the forward ended up in Piscataway: Jack wasn’t highly-regarded on the recruiting trail until the summer before his senior year at Rice High School, when high-majors like Arizona and North Carolina began to recruit the 6-foot-9 Jack. Rather than venture far from his NYC-based home, Jack committed to Rutgers. A redshirt his first season, Jack was a solid role player the next two years, and while he remained a Scarlet Knight following the firing of Mike Rice (and Jordan’s subsequent hiring), his outbursts this season was very much unexpected.

What’s accounted for Jack’s surprising play? Being more efficient at the rim. Athleticism has never plagued Jack — the forward can play above the rim — but Jack often couldn’t finish around the bucket. As a sophomore, 53 percent of Jack’s shots were in the paint, but he only converted 52 percent of those attempts. His percentage of takes has decreased (to 40 percent), but Jack is now connecting on a whopping 69 percent of those shots (per Hoop-Math.com). The result of this aggressiveness is more free throw attempts: a trip to the line for Jack used to incite heart palpitations for the Rutgers’ faithful, but Jack — whose taken 125 free throws in 2014, as compared 54 a season ago — is nearly converting 70 percent of his free throws. Jack is the Scarlet Knights’ most efficient offensive player, one whom Jordan has noted will have to carry the team if RU is going to make a push in the AAC tournament. As well as Jack has already played this year, a recent shift in Rutgers’ lineup could enable Jack to score more frequently — Jordan has said he would like to play Jack at center, noting the advantages (specifically, speed) he has versus opposing 5s. During the recent loss to Memphis, Jack started the second half at center and scored 18 points in the final twenty minutes.

Three more players filing lawsuits against Mike Rice, Rutgers?

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The number of former players that appear to be taking legal action against Rutgers and former head coach Mike Rice has grown to four.

In December, Derrick Randall, who has since transferred to Pitt, filed a lawsuit against Rice, a former assistant coach and the former Athletics Director, among others, over the mental, emotional and physical abuse he suffered during his time with the Scarlett Knights. Randall, who has learning disabilities, also claimed that Rice and company violated his civil rights and the Americans with Disabilities Act.

On Tuesday, the Newark Star-Ledger broke the news that three other athletes who played for Rice have taken or plan to taken similar action:

The university released letters from attorneys for Jerome Seagears, who is still on the Scarlet Knights roster, along with former teammates Robert Lumpkins and Dane Miller, who either filed notices of claim in connection with their treatment at the hands of Rice, or letters of representation asking Rutgers to preserve all evidence related to the students.

None of the students has gone to court.

Rice was fired on April 3rd, just days after a video was released of him throwing balls at his players, cursing at them and calling them gay slurs. One of his assistants appeared to challenge some of the players to fight. A number of higher-ups in the athletic department, including Athletics Director Tim Pernetti, lost their jobs as well. They saw the video in December and suspended Rice while fining him.

Former Rutgers player Derrick Randall sues school over Mike Rice’s actions

Mike Rice

Former Rutgers player Derrick Randall is suing the university over the way he was treated during Mike Rice’s tenure as the school’s head coach.

The lawsuit was filed in the state’s federal court on Friday and names Rice, former assistant coach James Martelli, the university, school president Robert Barchi, former AD Tim Pernetti, CFO Janine Purcaro, and chairman of the board of governors Mark Hershhorn as defendants.

On April 3rd of this year, a video was released that showed Rice verbally abusing his players — cursing at them, yelling gay slurs at them — as well as throwing basketballs at their heads and feet. Martelli was even more confrontational in the video, at times looking as if he was challenging players to fight.

In the lawsuit, Randall claims that Rice’s actions led to the player losing all confidence in his abilities, which affected his ability to perform both on and off the court. He claims that the other defendants knew about Rice’s actions and failed to do anything about it.

“”The outrageous, intimidating and abusive conduct to which Derrick was subjected included Coach Rice hurling basketballs at his head and legs and hitting, grabbing, striking and shoving him,” the complaint states, according to Courthouse News Services. “Coach Rice verbally, mentally, and emotionally abused Derrick through violent screaming, cursing and other humiliation tactics, including the use of homophobic slurs and other shockingly derogatory and discriminatory name calling. A photograph of Coach Rice grabbing Derrick by the neck and face on the bench during a game, with Derrick looking completely lost and helpless, speaks volumes, as does the video of such abusive behavior.”

Here’s the kicker, from that same Courthouse News story:

Randall, who has learning disabilities, seeks damages and punitive damages for assault and battery, negligence, gross negligence, breach of fiduciary duty, negligent and intentional infliction of emotional distress, interference with prospective economic advantage, discrimination, and violations of his civil rights and of the Americans with Disabilities Act and the Rehabilitation Act.

Randall transferred to Pitt during the offseason. He’s averaging 3.1 points and 4.8 boards in 15.3 minutes for Jamie Dixon’s club.