#34 Rutgers Women's Basketball 2016-2017 Preview

Rutgers Scarlet Knights
Overall Rank: #34
Conference Rank: #5 Big Ten
The 2015-2016 campaign was a forgettable one for what was a pretty talented Rutgers team. But the team struggled and was never able to get much momentum going in Big Ten play, especially on the road. Kahleah Cooper and Tyler Scaife had to do so much for the Scarlet Knights and not having a third scoring threat made this a pretty easy team to defend. Cooper is gone, but Scaife, a 5-9 senior, is back to lead Rutgers to better things in 2016-2017. Scaife is not a shooter, but she is nearly unstoppable when she drives to the basket. The Scarlet Knights will need Scaife to once again average around 17.2 points per game.
2015-16 Record: 19-15, 8-10
2015-16 Postseason: WNIT
Coach: C. Vivian Stringer
Coach Record: 451-231 at Rutgers, 971-366 overall
Key Departed Players (starters in bold)
Kahleah Copper, Forward, 17.7 ppg
Rachel Hollivay, Center, 7.8 ppg
Briyona Canty, Guard, 5.5 ppg
Ariel Butts, Center, 2.4 ppg
Key Returning Players (starters in bold)
Tyler Scaife, Senior, Guard, 17.2 ppg
Shrita Parker, Junior, Guard, 5.1 ppg
Khadaizha Sanders, Sophomore, Guard, 2.9 ppg
Victoria Harris, Sophomore, Center/Forward, 1.7 ppg
Aliyah Jeune, Sophomore, Guard/Forward, 1.4 ppg
Key New Players
Kandiss Barber, Junior, Forward, JC Transfer
Kate Hill, Freshman, Guard
Jazlynd Rollins, Junior, Guard, JC Transfer
Jordan Wallace, Freshman, Center
DaChe Williams, Junior, Guard, Transfer from Northeastern
Stasha Carey, Junior, Forward, Transfer from Pittsburgh, not eligible
Ciani Cryor, Sophomore, Guard, Transfer from Georgia Tech, not eligible
Kathleen Fitzpatrick, Senior, Guard, Transfer from St. Joseph’s, not eligible
The key for Rutgers improving on last year’s performance will be getting consistent production from somebody other than Scaife. There are options. Shrita Parker was a part-time starter last season and averaged 5.1 points per game. Sophomore Khadaizha Sanders showed some potential as a freshman and could emerge as one of the shooters Rutgers desperately needs. Coach C. Vivian Stringer needed to add some experience to her roster and she did it with junior college transfers Kandiss Barber and Jazylynd Rollins and Northeastern transfer DaChe Williams. Barber, a 5-10 wing, was a junior college All-American last season and she is a big time scorer who can also help out on the glass. This will not be a big team, but if Rutgers wants to compete for a spot in the NCAA Tournament, they just need a couple players to compliment Scaife in the scoring department.
Projected Postseason Tournament: NCAA
By the Numbers:
Scoring Offense: 62.3 (213th in nation, 14nd in conference)
Scoring Defense: 59.9 (86, 1)
Field-Goal Percentage: 44.4 (29, 6)
Field-Goal Defense: 38.4 (110, 2)
Three-Point Field Goals Per Game: 3.7 (310, 14)
Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: 31.4 (156, 13)
Free-Throw Percentage: 66.1 (272, 14)
Rebound Margin: -0.4 (176, 9)
Assists Per Game: 13.8 (113, 11)
Turnovers Per Game: 13.6 (37, 5)
Madness 2017 WNBA Draft Rankings:
#7 Tyler Scaife