PISCATAWAY, N.J. – Redshirt junior forward Kadeem Jack (Queens, N.Y.) shot 12-of-18 to score a career-high 30 points, while also grabbing 12 rebounds, to lead Rutgers (1-0) to a 92-84 win over Florida A&M (0-1) Friday evening at the RAC in the 2013-14 season opener. Senior forward J.J. Moore (Brentwood, N.Y.) also added a double-double, making 5-of-9 field goals en route to 17 points, while totaling 11 rebounds in the exciting victory.
It marked the first game at the helm for Eddie Jordan, who led the Scarlet Knights to their most points scored in a regulation season opener since a 114-86 victory over Bentley in 1976-77, which was Jordan’s senior season “On the Banks.” The 92 points were also the most for an RU men’s hoops head coach in their debut. The previous high was 82 in Bob Wenzel’s first season in 1988-89, when Jordan was an assistant on staff.
Junior guards Myles Mack (Paterson, N.J.) and D’Von Campbell (Arlington, Texas) joined Jack and Moore in double figures. Mack had 19 points and six steals, while Cambell contributed 10 points.
The Scarlet Knights shot 48.4 percent (31-of-64) from the field and an impressive 47.1 percent (16-of-34) from behind the arc. The Rattlers made 30-of-75 field goal attempts (40 percent) and 43.6 percent (17-of-39) of their shots from long range.
RU established a 50-37 rebounding advantage and forced 20 Florida A&M miscues. The Scarlet Knights out-scored the visitors 29-19 in points off turnovers.
Rutgers maintained a steady advantage throughout the game, but the Rattlers remained within striking distance in the first half. The Scarlet Knights built their advantage to double digits on one occasion in the opening 20 minutes (42-32) before taking a five point edge, 46-41, into the locker room at the midpoint.
With Jack putting on a highlight reel performance after the break, the home squad pulled away. RU led by as many as 18 points (69-51) and maintained a lead in double digits until the closing minutes. Trailing by 16, the Rattlers scored nine of the contest’s final 10 points to produce the 92-84 final.
Rutgers returns to the hardwood Monday (Nov. 11) evening at Alabama-Birmingham. The game tips-off at 8 p.m. Eastern and will be televised live on SNY and Comcast Sports South.
- The 92 points by the Scarlet Knights in an RU head coaching debut all-time. The previous high was 82 in Bob Wenzel’s first season in 1988. It was an 82-65 win over Rider on Nov. 25. Eddie Jordan was an assistant on Wenzel’s staff.
- The 92 points were the most by RU in a season-opener since the 1986 team opened with a 98-93 OT win. It is the most in regulation since scoring a 114-86 victory in the 1976 opening win over Bentley. That was Eddie Jordan’s senior season.
- The 92 points were the most for RU since the squad picked up a 94-56 victory over UMBC on Nov. 28, 2011.
- Jack notched a career-high and team-best 30 points. His previous best was 15 vs. Providence (Feb. 23, 2013).
- Jack’s 30 points were the most by an RU player since Eli Carter scored 31 vs. No. 10 Florida on Dec. 29, 2011.
- Jack posted his second career double-double with 30 points and 12 rebounds. His first double-double came with a 15-point, 10 rebound performance vs. Providence on Feb. 23, 2013.
- Moore posted his second career double-double with 17 points and 11 rebounds. The 11 rebounds are a new career high.
- With a layup at 17:38 in the first half, Moore scored his first career points as a Scarlet Knight.
- At the 12:43 mark in the first half, junior Craig Brown scored his first career point as a Scarlet Knight, draining a free throw.
- Junior D’Von Campbell scored his first career points in a Rutgers uniform with 11:27 remaining in the first half, sinking a 3-pointer.
- The 46 first and second half points for the Scarlet Knights are the most in a half since the squad scored 50 vs. UAB on Dec. 16, 2012.
- Four Scarlet Knights scored in double-figures: Jack (30), Mack (19), Moore (17) and Campbell (10). Eight Scarlet Knights scored at least one point, while six scored five or more.
- Mack posted his 38th career game with double-digit points, while Moore earned his 24th, Jack notched his fifth and Campbell recorded his third.
- Four players saw their first action in a Rutgers uniform, including junior Craig Brown, junior D’Von Campbell, senior forward J.J. Moore, and redshirt sophomore forward Stephen Zurich.
- Eddie Jordan went with the starting lineup of forward Kadeem Jack, forward Wally Judge, guard Myles Mack, forward J.J. Moore and guard Jerome Seagears. It marks the first career Rutgers start for Moore.
EDDIE JORDAN POST-GAME QUOTES
Opening Statement: “It was a game that had a lot of ebbs and flows to it. I want to give FAMU a lot of credit, they kept attacking and the scouting report, we told our team, this team is athletic, they will hit the offensive glass at a high level and they will keep attacking, attacking and attacking. That’s what happened tonight. I thought we did what we were supposed to do the first five, six, seven minutes and then they got the juice. I said with this team, once they get the juice they’re going to ride that momentum and they’re going to keep pushing at us, and they kept coming at us. They were more physical than we were in the end of the first half, they were dominating the glass, they were attacking again, they were getting the shots they wanted to get in the paint, threes, and we just couldn’t get a handle on them. But even at half time, I told our guys, look, even though they’re taking it to us, we have got to get better at that, but we’re still shooting 48 percent, they’re shooting 37 percent. Free throws are just about the same, threes were just about the same and we we’re leading, so let’s just get better and take the game to them physically and athletically. That’s what Kadeem did, J.J. did, Myles did. That’s what we did better in the second half.”
On Kadeem Jack’s shooting: “If he has a high motor, he’s going to be everywhere. He plays above everyone else by far, I mean above everyone. One of our sayings is ‘play at 100 percent energy, no lower than 80 percent,’ and he was in that range. If you go below 80 percent you’re coming to the bench. He did more of that in the second half and he felt the juice. He felt that he could give great effort in the offensive glass and that’s what he did, cutting in the paint. Everyone has equal opportunity in the offense and I thought our guards looked for him in the open floor because they know he’s a good finisher. That’s part of the harmony that we talked about, knowing who to get the ball to, especially your core scorers when it’s time to get them the ball.”
On Florida A&M’s 84 points: “They went right through us and that was disappointing. That’s their style. Now maybe when we play a team that doesn’t attack like that we can get a better feel and a better hold on them. Our scouting reports said this team will attack every which way and they’ll come off the bench. I thought they played 11 deep themselves.”
On Myles Mack: “I want our team to play and feel good about doing what they do best. Myles, even though it’s not a traditional way of guarding people, he gets steals from behind, in the frontcourt, the backcourt. He has a knack. As much as I want them to be disciplined, whatever they do well, be great at it. There were some things I will probably want to draw the reigns back a little bit, but I want them to feel good about playing for us and he did some good things that helped us. Jerome did too, D’Von was good. All our guys felt free, they felt good about playing with each other, playing the style of basketball they’re playing. That’s creating a culture here. I want our guys to feel good, to like doing it, enjoy doing it and get better at it.”
On feeling different coaching for his alma mater: “It did feel different a little bit. Just coming into the game I had some feelings, but I had to fight against those. I had to say, look, I have got to lock in. We have to lock in and do things well. I have to get used to the opponents. I’ve seen my team, I have to get used to the skill level and the way they play on this level. That’s what I was looking at. That’s why I kept saying, even in the scrimmage and the exhibition game, I wanted to see the opponent and get a sense of who we’re going to play against.”