Head Coach: Steve Pikiell
Location: Piscataway, NJ
Nickname: Scarlet Knights
KenPom rank: 54
Point Spread: Rutgers by 14
Offensive Style: In the paint
Defensive Style: In the paint
Key Injuries: None
Hoiberg said the team reviewed all the 3pt makes by Wisconsin. Talked about playing at the RAC and how physical Rutgers is. Mentioned he knew Pikell well from recruiting up there in the past.
Players to watch: Caleb McConnell
The big Soph PG went 8-8 against Nebraska last time on his way to 20 points starting for the injured Geo Baker. Even with Baker's return McConnell has remained the starting PG
Players to watch: Akwasi Yeboah
The Kevin Cross sized Stony Brook transfer was originally recruited by Pikell. Yeboah was first team All-Conference last year and has been one of the few Scarlet Knights knocking down 3s
As you can see, Rutgers rolls out a lot of height.
- Ron Harper Jr. is more of a slasher than a shooter but draws plenty of contact and is a defensive stopper
- Center Myles Johnson is deadly when fed in the post and is a beast on the boards. Absolutely murdered Nebraska inside last time out.
- Geo Baker has been less aggressive on the court offensively since returning from injury
- Mathis, like many Rutgers SGs, is a SG who struggles to shoot
- Texas transfer SG Jacob Young is the only player under 6'4" on the roster (6'2"). He takes a lot of shots and has been markedly worse than Mathis
- Fr Paul Mulcahy is the PG of the future. He's very tall (6'6"). He also will rarely shoot at this point in his career
- Centers Shaq Carter and Mamadou Doucoure are depth for Myles Johnson
Have you ever seen the Jean Claude Van Damme movie Kickboxer? There is a scene at the beginning of the movie where JCVD ends up finding the kickboxer is brother is there to fight, Tong Po, practicing by kicking a pillar. When it comes to physicality and toughness, Rutgers is the Tong Po of the conference.
In this rematch Nebraska should probably do a better job of keeping Rutgers out of the paint as it would be hard for any team to duplicate the 60% shooting dunkfest the Scarlett Knights threw down on Nebraska earlier this month. Will Nebraska have the outside shooting to be able to hang with Rutgers at the RAC? Seems unlikely. Given the sold out crowd I'd expect the Knights to run more than they did in Lincoln but overall their defense should be good enough today.
Prediction: Rutgers 78 - Nebraska 66