Welcome to ScarletKnights.com
    • iPad/iPhone App
    • Find us on Facebook
    • Twitter
    • RSS Feed
    • Get Text Alerts
Rutgers Men's Basketball History
Celebrating Over 100 Years
1976 Final Four Team
Fans storm the court during the 75-76 Final Four season.

Rutgers will play its 107th season of collegiate men’s basketball in 2013-14.

Rutgers took to the court for the first time in the 1906-07 season. On the losing end of three games that year and with a 3-12 record the next, play was suspended for the next five years. 

The Scarlet Knights resumed action in 1913-14 and played in consecutive years through 1943-44 when World War II broke the string of 30 straight seasons of play. 

Since that inauspicious start, Rutgers has had considerable success and enters the 2010-11 campaign with 1168 victories. Along the way, there have been 20 post-season tournaments. Six Rutgers teams have earned berths in the NCAA Tournament and 14 have been invited to the NIT. 

Frank Hill
Frank Hill

The first half century of Rutgers basketball was not sensational in terms of outstanding records. The Scarlet Knights did have considerable success in the first full decade of play, winning 86 and losing 46 in the twenties. Frank Hill's 28-year tenure produced a 223-162 record between 1916 and 1943 and Ed Benzoni's 693 career points remained a Scarlet record for a period of 26 years. The next decade saw Rutgers win 56 percent of their outings and the forties also witnessed wins more than half of the time.

Bob Lloyd and Jim Valvano
Bob Lloyd, Coach Bill Foster and Jim Valvano

During the fifties, the Scarlet struggled, despite the emergence of such athletes as Bucky Hatchett, Larry Gordon and Swede Sundstrom, all still prominent on the all-time leaders lists. 

Things began to take an upward turn with the arrival of head coach Bill Foster in 1963-64. The school's ninth head coach had much to do with putting Scarlet basketball on the map. He went from a 12-12 slate in his second season to a 17-7 mark in 1965-66 as Bob Lloyd and Jim Valvano entered their sophomore seasons. 

Lloyd, whose jersey number 14 was the first to be retired (Feb. 21, 1987), led the Scarlet out of obscurity, scoring 601 points and averaging 25 points a game as a sophomore, tossing in 26.5 points a game for 635 junior points and then scoring a record 809 points for a 27.9 average as a senior, when he became the first Rutgers basketball All-American.

Bob Lloyd

The 1966-67 season put Rutgers and Lloyd in the national spotlight. Rutgers put together a 22-7 mark and earned its first-ever post-season berth; Lloyd and Valvano combined for 1,335 points while taking the Scarlet to a third place finish in the National Invitation Tournament in Madison Square Garden. 

Foster's teams would post a 120-75 record over the eight seasons, following the 22-win season with a 21-4 mark in 1968-69, the heydays of Bob Greacen and Dick Stewart.

Phil Sellers
Phil Sellers

The sixties showed a splendid 70-32 record. Foster was succeeded in 1971 by his top assistant, Dick Lloyd, who with his aide Dick Vitale, posted a two-year 29-22 record. They were responsible for the arrival of Phil Sellers on the Scarlet scene. Sellers, Mike Dabney, Jeff Kleinbaum, Mike Palko and Bruce Scherer were the 1972 recruits and the group would mature into the nucleus of the squad which would shock the nation four years later by winning 31 consecutive games and reaching the Final Four. Sellers became the second Scarlet Knight to have his jersey (12) retired on Jan. 16, 1988.

Ed Jordan
Ed Jordan

Eddie Jordan, who later became a Rutgers assistant and is presently the head coach of the NBA's Washington Wizards, would join this cast in 1973 when Tom Young became the 11th Scarlet head coach. Hollis Copeland joined the group in 1974 and James Bailey and Abdel Anderson were 1975 additions. Sellers, Dabney, Jordan, Copeland, Bailey and Anderson as the sixth man and the Scarlet Knights raced to Rutgers highest success with a perfect 26-0 regular season mark in 1975-76. The victory string built to 31-0 before losses to Michigan and UCLA in the Final Four at The Spectrum in Philadelphia ended, but did not shatter, the dream. 

Tom Young
Tom Young

Young's first six teams enjoyed post-season play. The 1973-74 team went to the NIT and the next two units made NCAA appearances. The 1976-77 squad (18-10) visited the NIT and the 1977-78 team (24-7) was an NCAA participant. The 22-9 team of 1978-79 went to the NCAA. 

Rutgers returned to post-season action, posting a 20-10 slate in 1981-82 for an NIT berth under Young and his crack assistant, Joe Boylan, the latter now the athletic director at Loyola College in Baltimore. The 1982-83 squad went 23-8 and made the NCAA tourney. 

Roy Hinson
Roy Hinson

Young won over 68 percent of his games at Rutgers, winning 239 and losing 117 over his 12 campaigns. The long list of his standouts includes, among others, Roy Hinson, number 10 on the all-time scoring list; Kelvin Troy, the 13th-best scorer in Rutgers history; Kevin Black, number 19 on the career scoring list; and John Battle, RU's 15th best scorer all-time who went on to enjoy a 10-year NBA career. 

The seasons, stretching from Sellers to Battle, were times against which past and future Rutgers basketball successes are, and will be, tested. The seventies alone produced a glorious 194-87 mark and a winning percentage of .690. The 1980's were a mixed bag. Tom Young led Rutgers to the 1982-83 NCAA Tournament before leaving to head the Old Dominion program in 1985. Craig Littlepage (23-63) was the head coach for three seasons, from 1985-88, before giving way to RU graduate Bob Wenzel, who led Rutgers to four post-season berths in his nine--year tenure at Rutgers. 

Bob Wenzel
Bob Wenzel

he "Dream Big Dreams" season of 1988-89, orchestrated by Wenzel, is indelibly etched in Rutgers hoop annals. That year, the Scarlet Knights won the Atlantic 10 title with a win over Penn State, reaching their first NCAA appearance in six seasons. To top things off, Wenzel earned conference Coach of the Year honors. Followed by an NIT season (18-17) in 1990 and a regular season A-10 title in 1991 (19-10) as well as an NCAA berth, the Scarlet Knights, with a young squad, advanced to another NIT (16-15) berth in 1991. Three of the top four season attendance marks in RU history came under Wenzel. 

It was Wenzel who ushered in the BIG EAST era at Rutgers, as the Scarlet Knights became a member of this prestigious conference in 1995. Kevin Bannon directed Rutgers to a record of 59-60 and a pair of NIT berths in his four years as the head coach at Rutgers (1997-2001). 

Gary Water
Gary Waters

Gary Waters, hired in April 2001, compiled an 18-13 record his first season and was 79-75 in his five seasons at the helm. The 15 wins at the RAC in 2001-02 were the most by a Rutgers team since 1982. The Scarlet Knights recorded a school-record four victories over ranked opponents in Georgetown, Syracuse, Miami and eventual Elite Eight participant Connecticut. The win over UConn was Rutgers' first over the Huskies since beginning BIG EAST play in 1995. In a thrilling game that was televised to a national audience on ESPN, Rutgers knocked off another eventual NCAA Tournament participant in Notre Dame. 

Led by All-BIG EAST performers Rashod Kent and Jerome Coleman (Honorable Mention), Rutgers matched its longest-ever BIG EAST winning streak of three when the Knights posted victories over West Virginia, Syracuse and Connecticut. In addition, the 25-point victory at La Salle was Rutgers' largest winning margin in a road game in more than 20 years.

Quincy Douby
Quincy Douby

Rutgers pulled off another first, beating two ranked teams in the same week (No. 17 Connecticut and No. 10 Syracuse) for the first time in school history. Furthermore, the win over No. 10 Syracuse was the highest-ranked team that Rutgers has defeated in more than 20 years.

In 2003-04, Waters guided Rutgers to a 20-13 record and an appearance in the championship game of the 2004 NIT. After defeating Iowa State in a thrilling overtime contest that featured a 35-point performance from Douby, RU bowed to Michigan in the championship tilt. Both the semifinals and championship game were witnessed by a slew of Scarlet-clad RU fans, many of whom filled the trains from New Brunswick to New York's Penn Station. 

In 2005-06, Rutgers produced its third NBA first round draft pick when guard Quincy Douby was selected by the Sacramento Kings with the 19th pick overall. It marked the first time a Rutgers player was selected in the NBA's first round since Roy Hinson was chosen by the Cleveland Cavaliers in 1983. Rutgers' other first round pick was James Bailey, who was chosen by the Seattle Supersonics in 1979.

Douby led the BIG EAST and was sixth nationally in scoring as a junior, averaging 25.4 points per game in 2005-06. He set Scarlet Knight single-season records for scoring (839 points) and three-point field goals made (116) along with the single game mark of nine three-pointers. A First-Team All-BIG EAST selection, Douby led the BIG EAST in scoring with 27.0 points in league play, also the fourth-best scoring average in BIG EAST history. 

He earned All-America (HM) recognition from the Associated Press, was named to the CollegeInsider.com All-American team and was named District II Player of the Year b­y the United States Basketball Writers Association. In April, Douby, who departed Rutgers as the sixth leading scorer in school history (1,690 points), became just the second Scarlet Knight, and the first in 30 years, to win the prestigious Haggerty Award, given annually to the top player in the Metropolitan area. 

Fred Hill was named head coach on March 27, 2006. In his first season at the helm, he led Scarlet Knights to hard-fought, double overtime win against Seton Hall and a pair of victories against Cincinnati. The 2007-08 campaign saw the Scarlet Knights earn back-to-back wins over nationally-ranked foes (#18 Villanova, #13 Pittsburgh). In 2008-09, RU became the first school in history to play the nation’s top three teams consecutively, meeting No. 1 and eventual National Champion North Carolina, No. 3 Pittsburgh and No. 2 Connecticut in a calendar week.  

Hamady Ndiaye
Hamady Ndiaye

Freshman guard Mike Rosario was named a freshman All-American, BIG EAST All-Rookie and the MET Rookie of the Year in 2008-09. He set the Rutgers freshman all-time scoring mark with 517 points, surpassing Sellers, who posted 506 points as a freshman in 1972-73. Freshman forward Gregory Echenique set the Rutgers freshman all-time rebounding mark with 268 boards, tying for the 15th most rebounds in a season in RU history.

In Hill’s final season as head coach, the Scarlet Knights posted a 15-17 record, the squad’s fourth consecutive losing season. The team had several noteworthy accomplishments, however. Senior center Hamady Ndiaye was named the 2009-10 BIG EAST Defensive Player of the Year, to become the program’s second BIG EAST major award winner and the first selected exclusively for basketball. Dane Miller, who earned a school record three consecutive BIG EAST Rookie of the Week award, was a unanimous selection to the league’s All-Rookie Team. During the season, the Scarlet Knights earned four conference home victories, including a win over No. 7-ranked, Georgetown which marked the second-highest ranked team RU had ever defeated in program history. 

Ndiaye was selected by the Minnesota Timberwolves with the 26th pick of the second round (56th selection overall) in the 2010 NBA Draft. His rights were then sent to the Washington Wizards as part of a draft-night trade. Ndiaye set the Scarlet Knights’ career blocks mark with 358 rejections and was a two-time team captain. 

Next Game
There are no online events today.
Rutgers Ticket Office
Rutgers Auctions
AT&T Text Alerts
Fan I Am
New Jersey Audi Dealers
Join the Jr. Knights Club
Ask Tom Luicci

  • Millers Rental
  • Acme Nissan

  • Rutgers Center of Management Development
  • NJ National Guard
  • University Pain Medicine Center
BIG EAST Conference