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  • hhcmatt

    Game Day Essentials: Game #18 at Rutgers

      Nebraska Cornhuskers (13-4) at Rutgers Scarlet Knights (9-7)


      Date: Wednesday Jan 17th,  2024
      Time: 6:00 pm
      Arena: Jersey Mike's Arena

      Broadcast:  BTN

    Rutgers Info


    Head Coach: Steve Pikiell
    Location: Piscataway, NJ
    Conference: B1G
    Nickname: Scarlet Knights

    Last time out: Lost to Michigan St

    Point Spread: Rutgers by 2.5

    Typical Rotation Depth: 10

    KenPom rank: 93

    Nota bene:  

    • 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

      PG SG SF PF C Pct
    0 Derek Simpson
    6-3  165  So
    24 Austin Williams
    6-4  205  Sr
    3 Mawot Mag
    6-7  216  Sr
    5 Aundre Hyatt
    6-6  235  Sr
    11 Clifford Omoruyi
    6-11  240  Sr
    0 Derek Simpson
    6-3  165  So
    2 Noah Fernandes
    5-11  180  Sr
    3 Mawot Mag
    6-7  216  Sr
    5 Aundre Hyatt
    6-6  235  Sr
    11 Clifford Omoruyi
    6-11  240  Sr


    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


    Roster/infirmary report

    Will update if needed when the B1G releases their injury 


    Out indefinitely 

    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 


    The Skinny: 

    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

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