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Crimson Query with On the Banks

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Dave White, the Rutgers basketball guru for On the Banks, answers our questions about tomorrow's game, talks about the big Rutgers win over Wisconsin, and discusses the controversial tenure of Rutgers AD Julie Hermann.

Jim O'Connor-USA TODAY Sports

1. Welcome to the B1G! How has Rutgers basketball's inaugural Big Ten season been going thus far, and what have been some of the major differences between the new conference and life in the Big East/AAC?

Dave: As Rutgers fans we're used to big teams coming into the RAC. Louisville, Syracuse, UConn have all been mainstays. That hasn't changed, just the jerseys have. That said, the style of play has changed. It strikes me that Big Ten teams play much better team ball and focus less on NBA style isolation. That has confused Rutgers a bit and allowed them to give up a ton of threes.

Which brings us to how it's going. Listen, beating Wisconsin was a huge high for fans and the seniors who stayed after the Mike Rice debacle deserved this. Other than that, though, it's been a downer. This team is still building, basically from the ground up, but they're taking their hits as they go.

2. Winning over Wisconsin three weeks ago must have been a cathartic moment for Rutgers fans. The Badgers were without Frank the Tank, but regardless, this was the signature win on the year so far for the Scarlet Knights. What did the Wisconsin victory prove about Rutgers that others in the conference may not have been aware of?

Dave: That Rutgers may be down, but they didn't give up. The Scarlet Knights haven't really given up on too many games this season. The Badgers thought they had Rutgers in the palm of their hand, up 12 at half, but a couple of threes by Myles Mack brought them right in it. Rutgers isn't good right now, but if Mack and Kadeem Jack get going, they can beat some even the best.

3. Rutgers is led by two seniors with rhyming last names - guard Myles Mack and forward Kadeem Jack. How have Mack and Jack been able to stand out and lead the team this season? And is there anyone on the Knights who could beat the undersized Hoosiers down low?

Dave: Jack can beat Indiana down low if he's on his game. He's at his best when he's attack the rim and dunking the ball. That could be Rutgers only advantage. Mack and Jack work best in tandem, when one is going, it often opens up space for the other. And that's the only way they can win games. However, they are both playing a ton of minutes and are clearly exhausted. They are gassed and it's going to hurt them to get to the finish line.

4. When you first emailed me, you said that IU was "the absolute worst matchup on the docket" for Rutgers because of our 3-point shooting. Well, that obviously wasn't the case for us Wednesday night against Purdue, but explain more about why you think IU is a bad matchup for Rutgers.

Dave: Rutgers doesn't defend the three well at all, and it seems like something the Hoosiers do really well-shoot it. Rutgers is a big team and they like to pack it in the middle, and allow teams to beat them from outside. Wisconsin was off when RU beat them. Penn State and Minnesota were on. It seems to be that Indiana relies on the three, and that means Rutgers is in for a pretty good beating on Saturday afternoon.

5. Coach Eddie Jordan is now in his second season back at his alma mater in Piscataway, and he walked into a touch situation having to replace Mike Rice, who made national headlines for berating players during practice. What's your assessment of how Jordan has done as Rutgers coach thus far? And is he the guy to lead RU back to its first NCAA tournament since 1991?

Dave: Jordan is a tough nut to crack. His teams haven't been good, but he hasn't brought much big time talent in here yet. Some of that is due to scrambling to fill the scholarships when half the team transferred out on Mike Rice. The other is due to the fact that the Rutgers administration doesn't seem to care much about basketball. Rutgers needs so many things, like a practice facility and some infrastructure upgrades, but admin hesitates to help with that stuff.

On the other hand, Jordan loves this school and has forgotten more about hoops than you or I have ever known. See how he broke down in tears after beating the Badgers. If that isn't a sign of love, I don't know what is. I think Jordan can get it done here and get RU back to the NCAAs, but only if Admin helps him... which brings us to...

6. Julie Hermann has made her share of controversial statements as athletic director of Rutgers, and recently her associate AD, Jason Baum, resigned from the university. Is Hermann the right person for the job, or has she become too much of a lightning rod for Rutgers?

Dave: Oh, Julie. Julie, Julie, Julie. I am not a big fan of Julie Hermann, honestly. I think she has some great ideas for Rutgers Athletics, but every three months (seriously, you can set your watch by it) she say something that gives her such bad PR (or the press digs up something she said.). It's hurting her public image and hurts Rutgers image. There are varying reports on how she's doing with donors, but she's been on the job for almost two years and has yet to release a plan for a basketball practice facility--the department's greatest need. She's often stuck talking about "feasibility reports" and seems to have no direction for hoops, which is my biggest concern. I could be wrong, and maybe she's turning the ship around, but she's hit a lot of bumps along the way.

7. Football talk: The Scarlet Knights had a nice season to start B1G play, finishing 8-5 including a dramatic come-from-behind win over Maryland and a bowl victory over UNC. Is the future bright for Kyle Flood in Piscataway, and can he repeat his success in the coming years?

Dave: I think Flood can repeat his success. 8-4/7-5 seems to be par for the course for most Rutgers teams, and they definitely have the talent. The question is, can they step it up in recruiting and become a 9-3 or 10-2 team in conference. That's hard to do.

8. Finally, what's your prediction for Saturday's game in Assembly Hall?

Dave: 82-65 Indiana

Thanks Dave! The Scarlet Knights and Hoosiers face off tomorrow at 3:15 pm in Assembly Hall. Coverage is on BTN.