Adam Zagoria covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
For the first time since re-injuring his surgically-repaired left knee during the Fresno State game, Rutgers RB Kordell Young spoke to the media Wednesday.
Young said he initially hurt his knee early in the first game.
“It happened during the first quarter,” Young said.
Young went on to carry 26 times for 94 yards in the 24-7 loss to Fresno State. He said the new injury is not related to the season-ending tear in his left knee he suffered early last season.
“It has nothing to do with the surgery,” he said.
He added: “I feel pretty good. A couple days after the (Fresno State) game, my leg started hurting a little bit. After going through a couple of practices, I started feeling a little bit of pain.”
Now, he said he feels OK.
“It doesn’t even hurt anymore,” he said. “It’s not really an issue. It’s just about getting rest and staying healthy.”
Rutgers coach Greg Schiano said he didn’t know if Young would play on Saturday when the Scarlet Knights (0-2) visit Navy (1-2).
“It’s a little frustrating because I just want to be out there with my teammates, and I know what it feels like to sit on the bench for a whole year and not be able to play,” Young said. “I just want to get back on the field as soon as possible, whenever coach wants me to.”
Young hasn’t been doing all of the drills during practice.
“I do some of the practices,” he said. “We have backs that can get the job done. There’s no reason to play anybody that’s not 100 percent healthy or ready.”
Without Young, Mason Robinson and Jourdan Brooks carried the load in the 41-12 loss to North Carolina, but no Rutgers RB has yet had a 100-yard game.
“The problem is we’re not finishing all the runs as good as we can,” Young said. “We’re doing well, but I don’t think we’re doing as good as we can. We’re just not breaking the big runs.”
Young said he has advised Robinson and Brooks “to stay focused and let the game just slow down, and be calm in tough situations out there on the field.”
He said he’s not worried about losing his job as the starting back.
“I think that the best man’s going to play, whether that’s me, Jourdan, Mason or Joe (Martinek),” he said. “I’m just going to play my hardest when I’m back in there.”
CERVINI RUNNING THE SCOUT TEAMRob Cervini, a product of St. Joseph High School in Montvale, is imitating Kaipo-Noa Kaheaku-Enhada in the scout offense, but don’t ask him to pronounce the Navy QB’s name.
“That is pretty difficult, but I did get it down, I think,” he said. “I’m not even going to try. The Navy quarterback is my name.”
“I ran the Wing-T (offense), so it’s something a little similar (to the option offense Navy runs),” Cervini said. “I’m obviously just trying to give the defense as best a look, the basic principles of the triple-option, something similar to Navy’s offense.”
Cervini did the same thing last year, so this is his one week to be in the spotlight.
“I take it as an opportunity,” he said. “It’s an opportunity to show that you can make plays. Any time you can help out the defense or any team, it’s a privilege. Last week I was on the defense.”
Cervini said he last spoke to St. Joe’s coach Tony Karcich when he wished him good luck prior to the St. Peter’s game. It must’ve worked. St. Joe’s won, 14-0.
KEN GORDON OFF THE TEAM
Schiano said 5-8, 200-pound RB Ken Gordon was no longer on the team.
“Ken Gordon left the team,” he said. “He stopped playing.”
Adam Zagoria is a Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. A contributor to The New York Times and SportsNet New York (SNY), he is also the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist and filmmaker. His articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide. He also won an Emmy award for his work on the SNY mini-documentary on Syracuse guard Tyus Battle.
A veteran Ultimate Frisbee player, he has competed in numerous National and World Championships and, perhaps more importantly, his teams won the Westchester Summer League (WSL) championships in 2011 and 2013.
He lives in Manhattan with his wife and children.