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2014-15 Rutgers Preview: The Bigs

Kadeem Jack is a proven player in Rutgers' frontcourt, but with the suspension of freshman Ibrahima Diallo, there is little depth behind him. Will either incoming freshman be able to step up behind starters Jack and Greg Lewis?

Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports

With forward Wally Judge no longer on the team due to graduation, Greg Lewis will have an opportunity to start this season along side Kadeem Jack. His health will be a huge factor in how well the frontcourt will perform this season. Kadeem Jack will be relied upon to do a bulk of the scoring, and can expect to be double-teamed by opposing teams often this season.

Starters:

Junior Kadeem Jack is the best player in the Rutgers frontcourt, and he will start at the power forward position this season. Jack was the second leading scorer on last year's team at 14.3 PPG, and was the team's leading rebounder at 6.8 RPG. He is a potential future NBA player with excellent footwork, and will be the main focus for opposing teams defenses. Jack has a strong post move and is excellent at finishing strong around the rim. He is sure to have a number of highlight reel dunks this year. The biggest room for improvement for Jack will be his midrange jump shot. If he can keep opposing defenses honest, he will have the opportunity to blow by them with a quick first step. Defensively, Jack was the team's best shot blocker (1.3 BPG). Playing at power forward, he will have the opportunity to match up against smaller players, which will give him the opportunity to block a lot of shots.

Joining Kadeem Jack in the frontcourt will most likely be junior big man Greg Lewis. Lewis is limited offensively, only scoring 1.5 PPG last season in 10 minutes a game. Greg Lewis has been called the "most consistent player in practice" by head coach Eddie Jordan. The next step for Lewis is to have that translate into production in games. His role this season will be to eat up rebounds and improve his shooting so he can draw defenders away from the glass to give Jack more room to work in the paint. Injuries have been a problem for Lewis in the past, and with freshman Ibrahima Diallo ineligible for the season, it will be important that Lewis stays healthy this season.

Off The Bench:

Two freshmen, Shaquille Doorson and D.J. Foreman, will be coming off the bench this year for the Scarlet Knights. Doorson is a 6'11" import from The Netherlands. He is a strong center that likes contact in the paint, which is a rarity for European big men. He will be able to step in right away and handle the physicality of the Big Ten, but will need to improve away from the basket to be an effective scorer in the conference. Doorson also needs to improve his footwork around the rim. He is a bit slow to make his move, and will be eaten up by quicker centers in the Big Ten. Foreman is an athletic power forward who is unpolished offensively. He will lplay a minor role for Rutgers this season, barring any injuries.

The big men may be the deepest area on this team, which is a problem because there are only two returning players at the position. The season long suspension of Diallo leaves this group thin. The lack of depth on the entire team will be the biggest issue for Rutgers this season, and any injuries will leave the team in a precarious position in the highly competitive Big Ten.