Early foul trouble hampers guard
Rutgers head men’s basketball coach Mike Rice ran into an issue last season with fouls.
As the coach of one of the youngest teams in the nation, he saw too many infractions committed that he called “silly” and assured they would decrease now that the team is more experienced.
But he did admit the Scarlet Knights would stay aggressive, which would lead to fouls.
He did not say many of the team’s 15 fouls in Friday night’s 56-52 loss to St. Peter’s were because of aggressive play and which were not.
But it is likely he was not at all thrilled when sophomore guard Eli Carter picked up two fouls early, forcing Rice to remove him from the game for the rest of the first half.
“It’s tough, because [Carter] does mean a lot to our team,” Rice said. “I just wasn’t comfortable [leaving him in].”
Even when Carter was playing, he made little impact in the team’s favor, ending the game with only five points and one assist.
Carter also made only two of his 12 shots and turned the ball over three times.
“We [told him], ‘Eli, let the game come to you,’” Rice said. “And unfortunately, he didn’t on several occasions in the second half.”
Rice noted the number of layups Carter had that he failed to convert, which Rice estimated to be three.
Those three made layups would have more than doubled both his point total and shooting percentage, as well as given the Knights six more points, which would have been crucial in what ended as a four-point loss.
Rice said while he did not agree with one of the fouls, things could have played out differently.
“How do you respond?” Rice said. “We didn’t respond maturely with a mental toughness or a purpose. We just went out and tried to do everything on our own.”
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