Kearny resident Rutherford, formerly of Harrison, doing well at Rutgers-Newark

There was a time in Quincy Rutherford’s young life where he felt like he was earmarked for greatness – or at the very least, an NCAA Division I basketball scholarship.

When he was a student/athlete at Harrison High School, Rutherford was a superstar scorer. As a junior with the Blue Tide, Rutherford was averaging 25 points per game, tops in Hudson County and among the very best in New Jersey.

But then Rutherford transferred out of Harrison, first going briefly to Marist in Bayonne and later at Eastern Christian in North Haledon. Rutherford went from being the big fish in a very small pond to being just being another guppy.

So when it came time to select a college, Rutherford thought of academics over hoops.

“I wanted a place where I could excel in both academics and basketball,” Rutherford said. “I had chances to go other places, but the other schools wanted me to go to a prep school for a year.”

But that’s not what nearby Rutgers-Newark wanted.

“They wanted me right from the start, right off the bat,” Rutherford said.

Rutherford developed a solid association with R-N assistant basketball coach Derryck Alexander.
“Coach Alexander and I had an excellent relationship,” Rutherford said. “He recruited me to come to Rutgers-Newark and I developed a strong bond with Coach (Joe) Loughran.”

Loughran, the veteran head coach at R-N, knew that Rutherford was a special talent.

“I knew Quincy through his high school coach Bill Schoener,” Loughran said. “He’s a unique guy for us in that he’s 6-foot-3, 6-foot-4 who can really handle the ball. So we could play him in a multiple skill set and different positions. He could get to the rim and score.”

However, once again, Rutherford’s basketball career hit a bit of a rough patch at R-N. Rutherford didn’t get to play much as a freshman, averaging just 3.2 points and 2.0 rebounds in 20 games, seeing the floor approximately 12 minutes per contest.

Rutherford had flashes of transferring once again from one school to another.

“At first, I was a little frustrated,” Rutherford said. “But I talked to Coach (Loughran) and he told me that I had to wait my turn. I kind of accepted it.”

“He had to work at it,” Loughran said. “He’s gotten better at it.”
Last year, as a sophomore, Rutherford’s production more than doubled, averaging 7.3 points and 4.3 rebounds per game in 27 games, mostly coming off the Scarlet Raider bench.

“He improved greatly,” Loughran said. “We said to him that as long as he had a good look at the basket that we wanted him to shoot.”

Once the Scarlet Raiders’ upperclassmen graduated, Rutherford knew that the opportunity for playing time was greatly enhanced.

“I kind of had it posted in my head that it was my turn now,” Rutherford said. “Once they left, it was my chance. In order for us to win, I had to be able to score.”

Loughran had little doubts.

“We knew that Quincy would be able to take the next step up,” Loughran said. “If a kid puts the time in, chances are that things will usually work out.”

Six games into the 2019-2020 season, things have more than worked out for the junior swingman. The 6-foot-3 Rutherford is averaging 12 points and 5.7 rebounds per game. His defense has also picked up, as Rutherford has contributed five steals and five blocked shots. He has also contributed 12 assists in six games, of which the Scarlet Raiders have a 4-2 record.

Rutherford’s high game was the season-opening win over Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI), a game where Rutherford had 20 points and eight rebounds.

Needless to say, Rutherford has gone from little used reserve to main scoring cog in just two seasons for the Scarlet Raiders. He’s paid his dues nicely and he’s paying the rewards of his patience.

“We’re going to need that if we are expecting to win,” Loughran said. “We are relying on him to do that regularly. He has more of a responsibility now. He still needs to get better defensively, but he’s working on it and he’s improving on it.”

One major aspect to Rutherford’s game is his ability to communicate with his coaches and fellow teammates.

“No question, Quincy is gotten about 10 times better in that category,” Loughran said. “He knows that if he wants to get better, he has to listen and learn. If you don’t listen, you don’t get better and you don’t play. If you listen and learn, chances are that you play better. I think Quincy is seeing that these days. He’s definitely maturing and has come a long way in that area.”

Rutherford knows that going from a seven-point-per-game scorer to 12 points per outing is a dramatic improvement.

“It is a huge jump,” Rutherford said. “What I’m trying to do is let the game come to me. I’m still missing too many easy shots. I could have easily scored 20 points per game. Coach Loughran has the faith in me and we have a good supporting cast. I can’t be selfish on this team, because we have other guys who can score. When the other people get it going, it’s a good feeling, because I know we can play well together.”

Rutherford said that he doesn’t want to take advantage of the offensive freedom Loughran has provided him.

“I try not to abuse that,” Rutherford said. “Sometimes, I’ll be on, so I’ll take the shots. I just have to find a balance. I still have to be aggressive, but I also look for others. I’m definitely getting used to it.”

Rutherford now calls Kearny home after recently moving with his family. He’s an accounting major in the R-N’s prestigious business school with hopes of eventually becoming a certified public accountant.

“My parents put the thought in my head that I always needed good grades above everything,” Rutherford said. “I love basketball, but it’s not something I hope to pursue after college.”

Needless to say, Rutherford’s gradual improvement has become a staple in the R-N basketball program.

“His teammates respect him,” Loughran said. “He’s well liked. He’s a hard-working kid in the classroom. He’s always in the gym, working on his game. I think that helps his improvement a lot.”




Rutgers-Newark junior forward and Kearny resident Quincy Rutherford has taken the quantum leap from little-used reserve to the team’s leading scorer this season. Photo courtesy of Rutgers-Newark athletic communications




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Jim Hague | Observer Sports Writer

Sports Writer Jim Hague was with The Observer for 20+ years — and his name is one of the most recognizable in all of sports journalism. The St. Peter’s Prep and Marquette alum kicked off his journalism career post Marquette at the Daily Record, where he remained until 1985. Following shorts stints at two other newspapers, in September 1986, he joined the now-closed Hudson Dispatch, where he remained until 1991, when its doors were finally shut.

It was during his tenure at The Dispatch that Hague’s name and reputation as one of country’s hardest-working sports reporters grew. He won several New Jersey Press Association and North Jersey Press Club Awards in that timeframe.

In 1991, he became a columnist for The Hudson Reporter chain of newspapers — and he remains with them to this day.

In addition to his work at The Observer and The Hudson Reporter, Hague is also an Associated Press stringer, where he covers Seton Hall University men’s basketball, New York Red Bulls soccer and occasionally, New Jersey Devils hockey.

He’s also doing work at The Morristown Daily Record, the very newspaper where his journalism career began.

During his career, he also worked for Dorf Feature Services, which provided material for the Star-Ledger. While there, he covered the New York Knicks and the New Jersey Nets.

Hague is also known for his announcing work — and he’s done PA work for Rutgers Newark and NJIT.

Hague is the author of the book “Braddock: The Rise of the Cinderella Man.”