Less than two weeks before the COVID-truncated high school basketball season was set to begin, Rutgers Prep coach Matt Bloom got some news that he was wonderfully happy about, but knew would present a challenge to his team.
Trey Patterson – a Villanova signee – would be graduating Rutgers Prep early, and enrolling right away down on the Main Line.
The 6-7 forward averaged nearly 20 points a game last year and led the Argonauts to their first Somerset County Tournament title since 1983.
As if that wasn’t difficult enough, Rutgers Prep didn’t get to start the season on time, the victim of a COVID stoppage. While (most of) the rest of New Jersey started the season on January 26th, the Argonauts didn’t get to start until February 4th, when they hosted top-ranked Camden, and came out with an 83-66 loss.
After three more games – and just one against a Skyland Conference foe, a 40-point drubbing of Phillipsburg – they would shut down again due to COVID.
And now, Mother Nature may throw a new roadblock. Snow in the forecast has at least moved its scheduled return to the hardwood – a home game against North Hunterdon – from Thursday to Friday at 4:30 pm. The Argos also are scheduled to visit Franklin Saturday at 1 pm.
Click below to hear Central Jersey Sports Radio’s conversation with Rutgers Prep head coach Matt Bloom: