Last winter it looked like the Scarlet Knights were going to make their first NCAA Tournament since 1991, back when they were a member of the A-10 Conference. While Covid-19 ended the season prematurely, Rutgers is returning enough talent that a lot of people think 2021 will be the year they get back to the NCAA Tournament. Unfortunately they’ll now have to do so without a key player from last years team.
Yesterday evening junior guard Caleb McConnell announced that he will be redshirting the upcoming season with plans to come back in 2021-22. McConnell has been dealing with injury issues and still hasn’t fully recovered so he’ll focus on rehabbing and getting back to 100% for next year.
Proverbs 3:5-6 UNBREAKABLE ❤️ pic.twitter.com/SooWNtzgkk— Caleb McConnell™ (@caleb_mcco) October 2, 2020
In his sophomore season McConnell started 21 games and averaged 6.7 points, 3.7 rebounds and 1.5 assists per game. He saw reduced minutes down the stretch last season, but the guard has dealt with injuries throughout his time with Rutgers. While McConnell most likely wasn’t going to be a starter this year, he was likely going to be utilized in a sixth man role as his versatility played a big role in Rutgers success, even if his stats didn’t always stand out.
While the loss of McConnell will have an effect on Rutgers, it shouldn’t derail their aspirations of reaching the postseason this March. Even with the loss of McConnell the Scarlet Knights are set to return six of their top eight producers from last season and should have enough depth to get by.