Last Sunday, Rutgers fell at home to George Washington in a game that went about as expected by many. The Colonials are coming off of a 2013-14 season in which they reached the NCAA tournament, and the Scarlet Knights are in the midst of a rebuilding project while also making the move to the Big Ten.
Also working against Rutgers that night was the fact that Kadeem Jack, who is the team’s best front court player, was out with a thumb injury. Jack made his 2014-15 regular season debut Sunday night and Rutgers needed him, as he accounted for 13 points, five rebounds and three assists in the Scarlet Knights’ 76-73 win over St. Francis-Brooklyn.
Jack was one of three Rutgers players to finish in double figures, with senior guard Myles Mack scoring 25 points to go along with eight steals and six rebounds to lead the way. The return of Mack helps the entire front court, as Junior Etou (12 points) and freshman D.J. Foreman can slide into supplementary roles on offense. Foreman, who played well in the loss to George Washington, scored eight points in 12 minutes off the bench Sunday night.
Rutgers doesn’t have the depth they would like, as two freshmen were declared partial qualifiers by the NCAA prior to the start of the season, and that will most likely be an issue in Big Ten play. That, along with the skill he provides, is what makes Kadeem Jack’s return so important for Rutgers moving forward.