This is the saddest story I’ve seen on Rutgers yet: an analysis of what happened to the heralded recruiting class of 2008.
There are days, even now, when Rutgers sophomore Chelsey Lee dreams of buying a plane ticket home to Miami and ditching the drain of basketball practice.
“It’s hard,” she said. “I’m serious. It’s so hard.”
Problems arose early. The players were exhausted mentally by Stringer’s expectations and physically by her marathon practices. All five expected extended playing time as freshmen, and did not receive it. Personality quirks and chemistry problems piled up, splintering the group.
Lee, Speed and Sykes all admit they considered leaving, even if they maintain that those feelings are fleeting now.
Stringer believes the group turned a corner this year. But thinking about the hype, her voice rose. Her face looked stricken.
“They ain’t worth a dime,” Stringer said. “They haven’t proven themselves. They haven’t done anything. That’s just conversation. They should have left that alone.
“I just kept giving it chance after chance,” Dixon said in a telephone interview earlier this month from Los Angeles, where she averages 14.7 points a game for the Bruins. “And I realized, ‘Okay, I’m not going to waste any more time.’ I know when something isn’t right, and I felt that wasn’t right.”
That reporter got Jasmine Dixon to say more than she ever has on the subject. And “they ain’t worth a dime”? What kind of way is that to talk about your players?
As for Maryland, forget about going to the big dance. They aren’t even ranked.