Head Coach: Steve Pikiell
Location: Piscataway, NJ
Nickname: Scarlet Knights
Last time out: Lost to Michigan St
Point Spread: Rutgers by 2.5
Typical Rotation Depth: 10
KenPom rank: 93
- Nebraska is 1-3 in true road games this season
- CJ Wilcher and Jamarques Lawrence grew up less than 10 miles away from the arena
- Nebraska won last year at Rutgers behind 22 points from Keisei Tominaga and 17 from CJ Wilcher
KenPom most used lineups
Player to watch: Clifford Omoruyi
The Senior Center anchors one of the best defenses in the country as he's a rim protector in addition to a high level rebounder on both ends of the court. His scoring is down a little this year simply because this team isn't as good at feeding the big man.
Player to watch: Aundre Hyatt
The Senior Forward is Rutgers most reliable 3pt shooter, leading the team in makes and takes. Unfortunately for Rutgers, his 35.6% 3pt shooting percentage is near the best for the team. His 12.0 ppg leads the team.
Player to watch: Derek Simpson
Simpson has become the primary distributor for the Knights and he leads the team in assists as well as steals. Simpson is a remarkably poor shooter despite being an above average FT shooter.
Others to watch
Mawot Mag has returned from his ACL tear last year and likely isn't 100% yet. He's still scoring 10+ per game in addition to 5+ rebounds. Hartford transfer guard Austin Williams has been figuring it out at this level and is more of a glue guy. UMass transfer guard Noah Fernandes has been coming off the bench in part because he's been in a shooting slump most of the season. 6'8" freshman Gavin Griffiths is a shooter with the second most 3pt shots for the team though hasn't been a maker as he's at 24.1% from 3. Posts Oskar Palmquist and Antwone Woolfolk are reliable post depth.
UNL Game Notes
Will update if needed when the B1G releases their injury
5 Ahron Ulis 6-3 190 lbs Junior - Likely out for the season
15 Blaise Keita 6-11 257 lbs Junior - Ongoing ankle injury recovery
Possible starters for Nebraska
10 Jamarques Lawrence 6-3 183 lbs Sophomore
30 Keisei Tominaga 6-2 179 lbs Senior
3 Brice Williams 6-7 213 lbs Junior
4 Juwan Gary 6-6 221 lbs Junior
51 Rienk Mast 6-10 248 lbs Junior
53 Josiah Allick 6-8 231 lbs Senior
0 C.J. Wilcher 6-5 214 lbs Junior
9 Jarron Coleman 6-5 213 lbs Senior
1 Sam Hoiberg 6-0 183 lbs Sophomore
11 Eli Rice 6-8 213 lbs Freshman
21 Matar Diop 6-10 213 lbs Freshman
35 Henry Burt 6-7 216 lbs RS Freshman
2 Ramel Lloyd Jr. 6-6 210 lbs RS Freshman
31 Cale Jacobsen 6-4 200 lbs RS Freshman
24 Jeffrey Grace III 6-3 197 lbs Sophomore
Nebraska looks to try and get right vs a Rutgers team appearing to have a down year for HC Steve Pikiell. The Scarlet Knights find themselves in a transition year between losing 3 starters and next season when they bring in 2 of the nation's top 3 recruits in Dylan Harper and Ace Bailey. While the Knights are one of the worst shooting teams in D-1 by most any metrics, their defense has been good enough to keep them undefeated at home. Thus, it's also a get right game for Rutgers who come if after a loss to Michigan St in East Lansing; expect both teams to play with a sense of urgency.
Even though Nebraska has been torched from 3 in the conference, making this Rutgers team chuck 3s is a way to win this game. The Knights scrap for their points so they generate them via turnovers, offensive rebounds, and at the FT line. Pace can help the Huskers as they have the superior offense. Pace can hurt the Huskers if they lack execution as it fuels Rutgers with easy makes. Offensively Nebraska will look to attack Rutgers from the 3pt line and have success on the offensive glass.
With all the talk about getting right, you have to wonder if heading back home might help Jamarques Lawrence out of his mini-slump. Over the last 3 games he hasn't played more than 20 minutes and has 3 total points. If he's still struggling, look for Hoiberg to call on either Eli Rice or perhaps even Boogie Coleman in relief.
It's a tough environment to win in but look for Nebraska to bring a winning type of effort fueled by an embarrassing loss in Iowa and 5 days of rest/prep.
Prediction: Nebraska 76 - Rutgers 69