Head Coach: Steve Pikiell
Location: Piscataway, NJ
Nickname: Scarlet Knights
Last time out: Lost to Michigan
Typical Rotation Depth: 8+
Line: Nebraska by 1
Offense: Hero Ball
Style: Low assist % / Low 3pa%
Fun Fact: Rutgers lost to Steve Pikell's former team Stony Brook
|Off. Reb. %:||33.3||29.4||29.0|
|Off. Reb. %:||26.4||29.7||29.1|
If you're looking at overall stats, Rutgers has the 19th best defense in Div 1 in terms of KenPom Adjusted defensive efficiency. When you look at their defensive numbers for the conference only, they're middle of the pack in Defensive efficiency, offensive rebounds, and eFG% defense. While you can still characterize Rutgers as a good defensive team they built a lot of that reputation by killing creampuffs with their 348th place SOS non-conference slate.
HHC Member Scouting
Most Frequent Lineups over the last 5 games
That first lineup is the norm: the first 4 guys plus whatever of their cavalcade of centers is playing well. The second lineup is their versions of small ball. Omoruyi is the guy who's subbing in for Freeman when he gets into foul trouble.
Players to watch: Issa Thiam
This team is desperate for shooting and pencil thin Issa Thiam is the one guy one the team with a consistent 3pt stroke, knocking them down to the tune of 44.6%. A passive player, it's very possible to shut him down but then you look to open up the driving lanes. Defensively he's given Miles Bridges and Jae'Sean Tate trouble with his length so expect to see him guarding James Palmer at points.
Players to watch: Corey Sanders
In terms of shooting percentage, Sanders has been in a Glynn Watson-esque funk for the last two years. Given his overall confidence and Rutgers' lack of option the star PG continues to shoot and leads the team in scoring. Known as one of the better defensive PGs in the league, it will be tough sledding for Glynn to break out of his slump tonight.
Rutgers is notably terrible on offense and you could make the argument that their defensive numbers are inflated due to their Sadler-esque non-conference schedule. At points they have put it together and you can look at their win over Seton Hall and shredding of Iowa's tissue soft defense as proof. Given this should be another ho-hum RAC crowd it's all about keep them from believing they can score.
Rutgers does have some nice shooters in Thiam and freshman SG Geo Baker but the majority of the offense is Sanders or Deshawn Freeman trying to take their guy off the dribble. To be honest, the Huskers would be best to not mess with the dynamics of their hero ball offense unless one of those guys is really feeling it. Some of the best defenses in the conference have been able to keep this team under 50 points; I think the Huskers are capable of this but with the glut of upcoming games a 90% effort would do nicely. If you're one of the Husker's centers? Give 110%. Given your recent lack of minutes and Rutgers knowing that we're vulnerable on the glass, limiting offensive rebounds and 2nd chance points will be huge tonight. You'll see all sort of action inside the arc as Rutgers runs one of the most 3pt devoid offenses in Div 1.
Defensively Rutgers will throw out some varied and exotic looks tonight and expect them to focus on shutting down James Palmer. Will Miles change anything he's doing with Watson tonight to spark his scoring? One thing he won't change is his playing time as Rutgers has excelled at winning the turnover battle as one way to augment your lack of shooting is to take more shots than your opponent. Unless there is foul trouble expect Glynn to play most of the night.
Most everyone on this team should remember losing to Rutgers last year so I don't think anyone will take this team lightly. There should be all sort of focus tonight.
Prediction: Nebraska 66 - Rutgers 56