Big East Breakouts: Rutgers’ Kadeem Jack
Too long have the Rutgers Scarlett Knights been stuck at the bottom of the Big East standings. The team hasn’t had a wining record since the 2005-2006 season. Head coach Mike Rice seems like he’s on the right track to build this squad, but they’re not quite there yet. The emergence of Eli Carter last year was huge. but Rutgers will take a hit with the loss of Gilvydas Biruta. They’ll need a big to help replace Biruta down low, and Kadeem Jack is the man for the job.
Jack, a native of Queens, only has one season under his belt and was injured during it. Averaging 1.2 points and 1.6 rebounds is nothing to jump about, but he did average 0.8 steals/blocks in eight minutes per game. His offense is weak, but his defense is his strength.
While very raw, Jack has nice explosiveness and can run the floor very well for a big man. He also has tenacity in rebounding and blocking shots, so we’ll see those numbers improve a lot this year. While he can score inside, Jack’s offensive game is very limited. His ability in the post and the mid range still needs to be polished. However, this is something that I think Rice can really help him with.
A project, Jack certainly needs some work. But with Carter and other talent surrounding him such as Myles Mack, Dane Miller, and Mike Poole, he’ll have help so he can grow into his own.
It’s hard to say that the Scarlett Knights will be successful this year, but with Rice and some young talent, anything’s possible. A lot depends on the evolution of Jack, so he’s the player to watch for a breakout season.