NEW YORK – Not long after Mike Rice was named the head coach at Rutgers, there was reason to believe better times were ahead. Rice has lots of connections in New Jersey to, in theory, finally get some of the top talent in the talent-rich state. The thought was that Rutgers finally had the right guy running the program. But with his third season at the school now almost certainly in the books, the future seems more murky than one would have expected.
After losing to Notre Dame 69-61 in the second round of the Big East Tournament, Rutgers finishes the season 14-16. There is a slim chance a postseason tournament without the requirement of a .500 record will come calling, but chances are they have played their last basketball of the season. They went 5-13 in Big East play and finished 12th, which is one spot below where they were picked in the preseason poll. They were 14-18 overall last season, including a 6-12 record in Big East play. They were a young team this season, but the lack of bottom line results is just part of the story.