#40 Rutgers Women's Basketball 2014-2015 Preview

Rutgers Scarlet Knights

Overall Rank: #40
Conference Rank: #8 Big Ten
#40 Rutgers Women's Basketball 2014-2015 Preview
Rutgers Team Page


Few teams end the previous season with any sort of a winning streak, but Rutgers won six games in a row to claim the 2014 WNIT title. The Scarlet Knights were involved in many close games during the tournament, but they came away with victories over Delaware, Harvard, Seton Hall, Bowling Green, South Florida and UTEP. That momentum will be very important for a young team heading into the Big Ten.

2013-14 Record: 28-9, 12-6
2013-14 Postseason: WNIT
Coach: C. Vivian Stringer
Coach Record: 409-206 at Rutgers, 929-341 overall

This is a squad that returns their top six minute earners and Coach C. Vivian Stringer can basically pick up right where this team left off without changing much of anything. Point guard Syessence Davis is the new senior leader of the team after averaging 4.8 points, 4.2 assists and 2.9 steals. Davis can do some scoring, but she will not need to and is better off setting up the big time scorers by her side. Tyler Scaife averaged 14.5 points per game and will start at shooting guard once again. Briyona Canty started 15 games during her sophomore season and that is an option again if the Scarlet Knights want to start smaller. Kahleah Copper and Betnijah Laney are both big wings that can score in bunches and help the team on the glass. Copper led the squad with 16.1 points per game and she knows how to use her 6-1 frame to score in the paint. Laney is a little more perimeter oriented on offense and averaged 11.8 points per game. She is also the best rebounder on the team and averaged 8.5 per contest. Copper and Laney could handle the frontcourt on their own, but Rachel Hollivay is the true post player on the team. The 6-4 junior is a capable scorer and a fine rebounder, but her biggest impact is on the defensive end of the floor where she blocked 3.5 shots per game.

This team will play great defense, but they have to knock down some outside shots. Scaife made just six three-pointers last season and Canty added a team high 13. The team made a mere 44 three-pointers all season long, which is an average of less than 1.2 per game. And Precious Person, the lone departed player, made ten of those shots. Person also connected on 38.6 percent of her attempts from long range. The good news is that Rutgers played to their strengths and did not take too many three-pointers, but somebody has to step up and start knocking down the outside shot with some consistency. Incoming freshman Shrita Parker is an option and it is hard to imagine those numbers getting any worse.

Final Projection:
Rutgers proved that they can win games without any shooting threat. But if somebody starts hitting a few shots here and there, it will open up space for all of the scorers who want to attack the basket. With all of the experience this team gained last season, they should be ready for the grind of the Big Ten. But it remains to be seen if they are tough enough to compete day in and day out against good teams. Last year they basically beat up everybody in the AAC and got slaughtered by Connecticut and Louisville. This time around they are going to have to play more close games and hope their experience puts them out on top.

Projected Postseason Tournament: NCAA Tournament

Projected Starting Five:
Syessence Davis, Senior, Guard, 4.8 points per game
Tyler Scaife, Sophomore, Guard, 14.5 points per game
Betnijah Laney, Senior, Forward, 11.8 points per game
Kahleah Copper, Junior, Forward, 16.1 points per game
Rachel Hollivay, Junior, Center, 7.8 points per game

By the Numbers:
Scoring Offense: 66.2 (196th in nation, 5th in conference)
Scoring Defense: 58.6 (22, 2)
Field-Goal Percentage: 44.2 (35, 3)
Field-Goal Defense: 35.6 (12, 2)
Three-Point Field Goals Per Game: 1.2 (343, 10)
Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: 28.0 (NR)
Free-Throw Percentage: 66.6 (260, 8)
Rebound Margin: 2.1 (114, 4)
Assists Per Game: 14.8 (82, 4)
Turnovers Per Game: 15.6 (149, 4)

Madness 2014 Women’s Basketball Recruit Rankings:
#76 Shrita Parker


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