Rutgers, Seton Hall, Monmouth predictions

Rutgers, Seton Hall, Monmouth predictions

This time last year, the national college basketball preview magazines poured cold water on New Jersey’s prospects. None of the eight Division 1 men’s teams were predicted to make the NCAA Tournament.

Those magazines turned out to be dead wrong.

The Garden State put three teams into the Big Dance, the most in 18 years, and Saint Peter’s (which was picked to finish as low as ninth in the MAAC) advanced to the Elite Eight — Jersey’s deepest run since Seton Hall in 1991.

So will the forecasters get it right in 2022-23? Here’s a look at what they are saying about all eight programs, followed by our own Big East and Big Ten preseason rankings.

Tobin Anderson is introduced as the head coach of Fairleigh Dickinson's men's basketball team in a press conference on Thursday, May 5, 2022, in Hackensack.

Fairleigh Dickinson

last year: 4-22 overall, 4-11 NEC (9th place).

Almanac: seventh place; Demetre Roberts second-team All-NEC.

Blue-Ribbon: Fifth place; Demetre Roberts first-team All-NEC and NEC Newcomer of the Year.

Lindy’s: Ninth place; Kerwin Prince NEC Newcomer of the Year.

In a nutshell: This is a total rebuild under first-year D-1 head coach Tobin Anderson, but he did bring in enough talent to spark some optimism. Keep an eye on Roberts, who reads it up under Anderson at the D-2 level.

Monmouth's Myles Foster celebrates as Monmouth defeated Rider, 72-68, in the semifinal game of the MAAC Tournament played at Jim Whelan Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City on Friday, March 11, 2022.

monmouth

Last year: 21-13 overall, 11-9 MAAC (4th place).

Almanac: 11th place (now in the Colonial Athletic Association).

Blue Ribbon: 11th square.

Lindy’s: Eighth place.

In a nutshell: The CAA is a step up in class from the MAAC, but not an enormous step up. The challenge is that Monmouth is making this change after losing all five starters. That’s a lot to overcome.

NJIT's Miles Coleman (3)

NJIT

Last year: 11-18 overall, 6-12 American East (9th square).

Almanac: seventh place; Miles Coleman first-team All-America East.

Blue Ribbon: Seventh place.

Lindy’s: Eighth place.

In a nutshell: Incremental improvement is the vibe with dynamic senior guard Coleman joined by freshman Paul McMillan, the highest-rated recruit in program history. Potential sleeper team.

Princeton Tigers forward Tosan Evbuomwan (20) dribbles the ball against Indiana

Princeton

Last year: 23-7 overall, 12-2 Ivy (first place), NIT first round.

Almanac: Runner-up; Tosan Evbuomwam Ivy League Player of the Year; Ryan Langbord first-team All-Ivy.

Blue Ribbon: Runner-up; Tosan Evbuomwam first-team All-Ivy.

Lindy’s: Runner-up; Tosan Evbuomwam Ivy League Player of the Year; Ryan Langbord second-team All-Ivy.

In a nutshell: The ultra-versatile Evbuomwam is one of the best mid-major players in the country. The Tigers, who host the Ivy League Tournament, provide New Jersey’s best shot at winning a conference title.

Dec 5, 2020;  Syracuse, New York, USA;  Rider Broncs guard Dwight Murray Jr. (5) looks to make a pass against the Syracuse Orange in the second half at the Carrier Dome.  Mandatory Credit: Mark Konezny-USA TODAY Sports

rider

Last year: 14-19 overall, 8-12 MAAC (tie 7th square).

Almanac: Fifth place; Dwight Murray Jr. second-team All-MAAC.

Blue Ribbon: Third place; Dwight Murray Jr. first-team All-MAAC.

Lindy’s: Third place; Dwight Murray Jr. first-team All-MAAC; Mervin James second-team All-MAAC.

In a nutshell: The Broncs seem poised to make a big leap led by Murray, who torched Iona in last year’s earth-shattering MAAC Tourney upset. Was that a preview of things to come?

Feb 16, 2022;  Piscataway, New Jersey, USA;Rutgers Scarlet Knights center Clifford Omoruyi (11) and guard Paul Mulcahy (4) reacts during the second half against the Illinois Fighting Illini at Jersey Mike's Arena.  Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

Rutgers

Last year: 18-14 overall, 12-8 Big Ten (tie 4th place), NCAA Tournament first four.

Almanac: Eighth place, first four out of NCAAs; Cliff Omoruyi second-team All-Big Ten.

Blue Ribbon: ninth place; Cliff Omoruyi first-team All-Big Ten.

Lindy’s: Sixth place, NCAA Tournament berth; Cliff Omoruyi first-team All-Big Ten.

In a nutshell: Everyone agrees that Omoruyi is going to be a force. There is no clear consensus on how the team will fare (Lindy’s ranks Rutgers 32n/a), probably because of the big shoes Geo Baker and Ron Harper Jr. leave.

Jaylen Murray, left, and Latrell Reid celebrate after Saint Peter's upset Purdue to reach the Elite Eight.

St. Peter’s

Last year: 22-12 overall, 14-6 MAAC (second place), NCAA Tournament Elite Eight.

Almanac: Ninth place.

Blue Ribbon: Seventh place.

Lindy’s: Eighth place.

In a nutshell: People seem to be writing the Peacocks off after losing their top seven players and entire coaching staff from an all-time Cinderella run. But three rotational players return and new skipper Bashir Mason won at Wagner.

Seton Hall Pirates guard Kadary Richmond (0) passes the ball in front of Georgetown Hoyas forward Collin Holloway (23) and forward Tray Jackson (2)

Seton Hall

Last year: 21-11 overall, 11-8 Big East (tie 5th spot), NCAA Tournament round of 64.

Almanac: Sixth place, NCAA Tournament berth.

Blue Ribbon: Eighth place.

Lindy’s: Sixth place, NCAA Tournament berth; Kadary Richmond second-team All-Big East; Alexis Yetna third-team All-Big East.

In a nutshell: The Pirates might take a slight step back but should firmly remain in the mix for another Big Dance ticket. For the first time in several years, no one player is expected to stand out.

Connecticut's Adama Sanogo passes the ball away from Seton Hall's Alexis Yetna during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game at the Big East conference tournament Thursday, March 10, 2022, in New York.  (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)

Jerry Carino’s Big East forecast

1. Creighton: The combination of experience, balance and coaching are present for a run deep into March.

2. Villanova: Jay Wright’s retirement is going to hurt. But assuming Justin Moore returns from a torn Achilles in December, the Wildcats remain loaded with talent.

3.UConn: The best player in the conference, Patrick School alum/wrecking-ball postman Adama Sanogo, is surrounded by a solid supporting cast.

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