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Episode No. 77: The sky is not falling for Rutgers men’s basketball



Photo credit Rutgers Athletics

Episode No. 77 centers around Tuesday’s news that 4-star point guard Dellquan Warren has decommitted from Rutgers men’s basketball.

While it’s easy to blame NIL on Warren reopening his recruitment, he said that it was due to making a decision too early in the process and wanting more time.

The NIL focus and now panic among the fan base is growing. With the recent comment of Knights of the Raritan President Jon Newman stating that fundraising is not close to the level Rutgers needs to be competitive, there is real concern among fans that the men’s basketball team will take a serious step back because of it. This is also a bigger issue than NIL at Rutgers, a institution that’s always lagged behind with fundraising.

This episode aims to take things to a level where more factors are considered, including the big picture. It’s not all about NIL, even though NIL is a fair concern. There are positive things in place at Rutgers and within the men’s basketball program that are bigger than NIL.

I also discuss the hiring of Marlon Williamson as an assistant coach and his potential impact on recruiting. He has ties to Ace Bailey, the midwest and a strong connection with Brandin Knight.

There are still plenty of reasons to be positive with the big picture for Rutgers men’s basketball. Concerns for sure, but reasons for hope too.

Thank you for listening and watching once again.



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  1. InPikeWeTrust

    May 24, 2023 at 11:26 am

    This was much needed. Thank you Aaron. I actually texted Dave earlier when the news first broke, “I feel like the sky is falling”

    • Aaron Breitman

      May 24, 2023 at 2:33 pm

      Thank you and that is funny. Glad it helped.

  2. thevinman

    May 24, 2023 at 12:04 pm

    The sky may not be falling but there sure have been a few rain showers recently.

  3. pj43

    May 24, 2023 at 2:00 pm

    Well, I consider Aaron’s comments to be a mild rant but not a major rant (lol). As for Warren, it seems that early commitments are usually more emotional than they are well thought out. We’re not privy to what changed his mind but consider what’s recently occurred, e.g. St John’s offered Warren last Aug. Pitino is now the HC. I’m gonna assume he contacted Warren. Most likely the kid has had people blowing in his ear that events have changed & he needs to reconsider his options. And so it goes. I agree with Aaron that it’s more important for RU to hold onto the “bigs”. Warren is replaceable – not that he wasn’t a seemingly good roster fit.
    About the new asst coach, I get that recruiting is a big deal & how Williamson is a good fit in the recruiting scheme of things. I’ll tell you what though, coming into Pikiell’s 8th year as HC, I won’t be pleased if there’s still an inconsistent half court offense that wastes a solid consistent defensive effort.

    • InPikeWeTrust

      May 24, 2023 at 9:14 pm

      Defense is dictated mostly through coaching and some of it is talent. Offense is dictated mostly through talent and a little bit through coaching. The 2 polar opposites are Pike and McCaffrey. For the most part, they’ve recruited the last few years in the same talent pool, it seems to me. McCaffrey looks for 3* kids who fit his offensive scheme first and Pike does the opposite. Now, McCaffrey was a little fortunate that Garza and the twins developed well beyond their rankings as prospects. Pike has had the same success with Geo and Harper. The 2 programs have enjoyed similar success in this time frame with Iowa maybe slightly ahead but McCaffrey wasn’t digging his program out of the abyss like Pike was. Pike is just now landing gifted offensive players in Griffiths, Ace, Sommerville and perhaps others. Let’s see if Pike can get them to play similar D as the past 4 years while “coaching” them up on offense. I think what we’re going to see in the next few years is a much better offensive coach since the talent has improved. Scheme only goes so far, especially when everyone knows every single one of your plays in conference play.

      • pj43

        May 25, 2023 at 4:03 pm

        The problem I have, and have had, with RU’s half court offense over recent years is difficulty identifying a consistent half court “scheme”.  In the early Pikiell years, I could understand that the lack of talent caused a dribble, dribble, jack one up with with 1 second left fiasco.  But the talent has gotten better (all credit to Pikiell, his staff & their recruiting).  Good enough talent to be able to incorporate a half court scheme fitted to the strengths on the court.  If you don’t have true scorers who can create their own good looks, then you had better have a scheme that can create consistent good looks.  Last season, when the ball moved and players moved without the ball, a player like Spencer (my definition of a “catch & shoot” player) got good looks and delivered.  Yet, there were all too many games where  he got too few shots.  I know some would say that the defense took his shot away.  That’s not what I saw.  What I saw was too many times where players like McConnell took more forced shots than Spencer attempted in total, Cliff was ignored in alley oop scoring opportunities when thee were mismatches, and so on.  When your defense holds the opposition to 65pts and your offense can’t generate 60pts in all too many games, you have a problem.  I think it’s legit to ask questions. Does the HC have a blind spot when it comes to addressing the lack of a half court offense?  Would it be a good idea to bring in an asst coach (or an “advisor”) with an offensive mind set & the ability to install an effective half court offense that has the capability of generating over 65pts per game on a more frequent basis than what we’ve seen?  

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