Rutgers’ first season as a member of the Big Ten wasn’t a smooth one by any stretch of the imagination, as they won just ten games (2-16 in conference play) and ranked at or near the bottom of many of the major statistical categories both offensively and defensively.
And with contributors such as Myles Mack and Kadeem Jack out of eligibility, there’s room for others to step forward in 2015-16. Friday afternoon Rutgers picked up an experienced guard who will look to earn a spot in their rotation as a graduate student.
Former Bradley guard Omari Grier, who averaged 7.9 points per game as a redshirt junior, announced that he’s decided to play his final season of college basketball at Rutgers. As a graduate student, Grier will be eligible to play immediately for the Scarlet Knights.
Grier, who played his freshman season at FAU before transferring to Bradley, started 11 of the 30 games he played in and averaged nearly 23 minutes of action per contest. Grier shot 37.8 percent from the field and 31.8 percent from beyond the arc for the Braves, and in his first season as a member of the program (2013-14) he scored 10.4 points per game.
Grier joins a Rutgers backcourt that, even with the loss of Mack, is a bit crowded from a numbers standpoint. Bishop Daniels and Mike Williams return from last season’s rotation, with freshmen Corey Sanders and Justin Goode joining the program this summer. Rutgers also adds Kansas State transfer Nigel Johnson, but he won’t be eligible to play in 2015-16.
In total Rutgers is adding seven players to the program, with wings Deshawn Freeman (junior college transfer), Jonathan Laurent and Kejuan Johnson having made their pledges as well. As of right now the program is one scholarship over the limit of 13 according to Jerry Carino of the Asbury Park Press, so the roster shuffling likely isn’t done at Rutgers.
The 2014-15 season has been a tough one for Geno Ford’s Bradley Braves, as they’re off to a 2-7 start in Missouri Valley Conference play and 7-15 overall. Things may get even tougher for Bradley, with leading scorer Warren Jones being one of three players who faces disciplinary action due to an incident that occurred early Thursday morning.
According to Dave Reynolds of the Peoria (Illinois) Journal Star, Jones was arrested on charges of using a fake ID and underage drinking at a strip club in Peoria. Jones was found to be using identification that belonged to teammate Omari Grier (who wasn’t at the strip club). Another teammate, Ka’Darryl Bell, was also cited for underage drinking.
The incident occurred just hours after the Braves lost 69-57 to Drake Wednesday night.
The BU guard [Jones] was with a group of 10 that was asked to leave the downtown bar after they became unruly, a source told the Journal Star.
“Police were called and they were taken outside,” said Big Al’s owner Al Zuccarini. “The arrest took place outside the building.”
“Obviously, I’m aware of what went on last night,” said BU coach Geno Ford. “I’m extremely disappointed this is something we’re dealing with during the season. We will move swiftly with corrective actions and measures. I apologize to the administration and the fans for having this occur during our season.”
Any disciplinary actions to be taken by Ford has yet to be announced, but according to Reynolds’ report Ford did plan on holding a team meeting prior to practice Thursday in order to address this situation.
Jones is currently averaging 13.8 points, 2.8 rebounds and 2.0 assists per game, and Bell (7.5 ppg, 2.4 rpg) is second on the team in assists with an average of 2.7 per contest. Grier has also been a factor for the Braves, as he’s averaging 8.2 points and 2.0 rebounds per game.
Bradley, which has lost six of its last seven games, visits Indiana State on Saturday.