Izzo didn’t know much about Pikiell from his Stony Brook days, but likes the energy he’s bringing to the program now. “Last year, to me, they played hard and weren’t as good,” Izzo said. “And even though we won more than last year, and last year we might’ve had a really good team too, I just felt like the energy in this building, in this place, it was awesome.” Rutgers (and Seton Hall) continue to miss out on the elite prospects in New Jersey such as Bryan Antoine (Villanova), Scottie Lewis (Florida) and Kahlil Whitney (Kentucky), but Rutgers signee Paul Mulcahy was in the building and loves what Rutgers has going on. “People will start to believe,” he told me after the Miami game. Former Michigan State and Giants star Plaxico Burress sat behind the Spartans bench on Friday, and then joined the team in the locker room. Izzo told him some of the Rutgers players reminded him of Burress’s former Giants teammates. “Plaxico Burress was in our locker room tonight and I told him it looked like the old Giants,” he said. “They looked like some linebackers out there. Some of those freshmen, [Montez] Mathis and [Ron] Harper. They got some good young kids so the first thing is I’d like to give credit to them.”
You may see this Shaq Doorson dunk on SportsCenter later pic.twitter.com/VhKCJCmad8— Adam Zagoria (@AdamZagoria) December 1, 2018
I asked Izzo what it would mean to the Big Ten if Rutgers — one of two Eastern schools in the league — could become a factor in the Big Ten. He said he didn’t want to stick around long enough to find out.
Michigan State product Plaxico Burress is behind the Sparty bench pic.twitter.com/LAYOcaMD7Q— Adam Zagoria (@AdamZagoria) December 1, 2018