Rutgers Women’s Basketball

Rutgers women's basketball begins a new era when they host Hofstra at 11 a.m. Photo Rutgers Athletics.

A new era begins today for Rutgers women’s basketball when the Scarlet Knights take the floor with Coquese Washington as its new head coach.

Washington takes over for Hall of Famer C. Vivian Stringer who retired at the end of last season. Washington brings to Piscataway over 20 years of collegiate basketball coaching experience, having served as Penn State head coach for 12 years. Most recently, Washington was the associate head coach at alma marte, Notre Dame. She also had a coaching stop in Oklahoma. She was also a player in the WNBA.

Washington and her coaching staff comprised of Tasha Pointer, Nikki McCray-Penson and John Hampton will face the challenge of trying to rebuild the Rutgers women’s basketball program back to its former glory. The Scarlet Knights have only eight players on the roster, five of them are brand new with two freshman: ¬†Kaylene Smikle and Antonia Bates, and three transfers: Kassondra Brown, Kai Carter, and Abby Streeter. The three returning players from last year’s squad include senior Awa Sidibe in addition to juniors Erica Lafayette and Chyna Cornwell.

Fox Sports on the Road: Rutgers Women’s Basketball Coach Coquese Washington

Washington was quoted as saying on Rutgers Athletics, “”This year for us is really about one thing, and that’s establishing our culture. We’re in it for long-term success, and there’s no shortcut to that. You have to build a strong foundation, so that the program can build and grow off that. So, this year for us is all about building our culture, establishing our culture, and growing it with the players that we have.”

The Scarlet Knights will tip off the season at 11 a.m. on Monday at Jersey Mike’s Arena against Hofstra. The Pride went 8-20 last season, and will serve as the perfect test for Washington and her club to open the season, as they too are rebuilding this season with a younger core.¬† Catch the game live on Fox Sports New Jersey 93.5 FM, 1450 AM today at 11 a.m.

One huge key to early season success for Rutgers this year will be the early home schedule they play. After opening against Hofstra on Monday afternoon, they will host Seton Hall (Nov. 11); NJIT (Nov. 13) and North Carolina Central (Nov. 16), before hitting the road for Battle 4 Atlantis Tournament in the Bahamas, where the Scarlet Knights will face Tennessee on November 19.

The Scarlet Knights first Big Ten game is not until December 4 against Ohio State at Jersey Mike’s Arena.

Check out the full schedule here!

Rutgers Women’s Basketball