Head Coach: Steve Pikiell
Location: Piscataway, NJ
Nickname: Scarlet Knights
Last time out: Lost to Northwestern
Conference Record: 1-6
Typical Rotation Depth: 9+
Line: Nebraska by 8
Player to watch: Geo Baker
The 6'4" soph guard has emerged as the team's goto player, especially with F Eugene Omoruyi out indefinitely with a dislocated kneecap. Unfortunately for the Knights Baker doesn't get to the line much as is quite an inefficient scorer so it's probably better just to make him beat you by himself. Does Thomas Allen draw Baker? Probably not because him guarding Montez Mathis makes more sense. He's started to prove himself as one of Nebraska's better defenders.
KenPom explains the roster
With Omoruyi out Ron Harper Jr slides in at the SF position. Rutgers almost always has a traditional center on the court and at times a traditional PF.
- Doorson is efficient with the ball and a terrific rebounder but isn't an overly aggressive scorer and is turnover prone. Shotblocker but foul prone. A career 34.5% FT shooter!
- Juco transfer Shaq Carter doesn't have the size of Doorson but is just as efficient and more active offensively. This is the post player that Nebraska needs to worry about the most
- Ron Harper Jr is having a miserable year shooting but defensively challenges shots with his length. He's also foul prone so Palmer should attack anytime he's covered by the son of former NBA player Ron Harper
- Mathis is a highly regarded Palmer type guard out of Maryland that Rutgers beat out a lot of teams to land. Currently a poor shooter from the outside, Mathis is a slasher who excels at drawing contact.
- Issa Thiam is a 6'10" 190# guy who shoots 3s though is slumping this year at 31.5%
- Quinnipiac transfer 6'5" SG Peter Kiss was meant to add some scoring punch but has struggled with his shot and is shooting about 33% from outside
- 6'6" Fr Caleb McConnell is the backup PG. Has been a mess of turnovers and bad shooting. He is tall, though.
- 6'10" 255# Myles Johnson is a less effective Doorson though a better FT shooter.
Scouting Rutgers Thread
The Skinny: This is one of those games against a not-so-great opponent in Rutgers without one of their best players where you wonder if Nebraska shows up which is probably what happened to Ohio St at the RAC a few weeks back. If you want to take a silver lining from the Michigan St loss it should be motivated to win.
Offensively there are lots of places to attack this Rutgers defense that has been gouged during conference play. If you recall Isaiah Roby abusing Lamar Stevens trying to guard him on the perimeter, Rutgers rolls out two guys like this who have to guard both Copeland and Roby. If either is hitting Nebraska should have enough offense in this game. Also add on James Palmer probably able to draw contact when he needs/wants to and we haven't even mentioned Watson/Allen. For a team as desperate for offense as Rutgers there will be offensive rebound opportunities if Nebraska wants to hunt for them.
Defensively it will be about securing rebounds as throwing the ball in the general direction of the rim and grabbing the rebound ins't that far off describing Rutger's offense. Nebraska will let Geo Baker try and beat them by himself and while Baker is good he's no Cassius Winston. How much will Amir Harris be called upon to help here? Chris Basnett had a nice article about the recovering Harris today
If Nebraska shows up on one side of the ball, that should be enough. If they don't show up at all, this could be one of the biggest upset wins of the Pikiell era.
Prediction: Nebraska 74 - Rutgers 62