Will Rutgers hoops always be hopeless?

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Want a thankless job? Try convincing people to attend a Rutgers basketball game. Or to even talk about the men’s team. That’s how it goes with the Scarlet Knights.

Even students – you know, people without much else to do – couldn’t care less. Ryan Glanville bemoaned as much to the Courier News. “Even though I’m very enthusiastic, nobody ever seems excited about it,” Glanville said. “People say, “Nah, the team’s going to lose.’ ”

But should they? Rutgers does have a new coach in Mike Rice, which is a fine start. Fred Hill didn’t do much other than antagonize his players and fans (and opposing coaches.)

Under Rice, Rutgers is starting to play differently. Not better, but with more effort. They play defense. They run. The offense is no longer a series of one-on-one moves.  Best of all, Rice landed a prime recruiting class. If this season shows any promise whatsoever, the next few years could finally boost attendance over 5,000.

“The average (student) has an idea of it, they know about the recruiting class, but I don’t think they care too much about this year,” said Steven Miller, sports editor of The Daily Targum. “This is an important year for Rice in terms of building and putting his system in place, but they want to see the seven freshmen flying around the court.”

Yeah, that’d be a start. It’d almost be as good as winning.

Want more? I’m also on Twitter @BeyndArcMMiller.