Head Coach: Steve Pikiell
Location: Piscataway, NJ
Nickname: Scarlet Knights
KenPom rank: 27
Point Spread: Rutgers by 7.5
Player to watch: Myles Johnson
The defense is set up this year to run guys off the 3pt line in the general direction of one of the best interior defenders in the conference. 6'11" Johnson leads Rutgers in blocks, offensive rebounds, and total rebounds; off the court the brainy Johnson is an intern at IBM.
Rutgers rolls out beef size; the downside to their bulk is their inconsistent shooting
- Texas PG transfer slasher Jacob Young has developed a consistent 3pt shot in his 2nd year at Rutgers; leads this opportunistic Rutgers defense in steals
- Junior Ron Harper Jr. with his bulk and length has developed into a problem to stop in the B1G. About the only thing holding him back is an inconsistent 3pt shot which he has no problem taking
- Senior Geo Baker is having his most efficient scoring season without having to carry the load
- Paul Mulcahy and his headband is the Scarlet Knight's glue guy
- Caleb McConnell is a defensive player with an inconsistent shot
- Rutgers landed their future starting center in 6'11" 240# Clifford Omoruyi who backs up Johnson
- Montez Mathis was a starter during the first half of the season but his inconsistent shooting has him coming off the bench; I think he looks like Sek Henry's stunt double
- 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
Rutgers finally found the right coach as Steve Pikiell has built the Scarlet Knights into a tournament contender behind hard nosed defense and a WIP offense. Built upon length, size, and quickness, Pikiell has them defending the 3pt line more this year while funnelling offensive players towards shot blocking center Myles Johnson. With this sort of frontcourt protection Rutgers' guards have been able to push for steals. The surprising thing about this Rutgers offense that tries to work everything into the paint is how relatively little they make it to the FT line. I guess this is a silver lining for the fans of the B1G's other terrible shooting FT team.
The Teddy Allen era at Nebraska ended earlier than expected though Nebraska seemed to prove it could function offensively without their most talented bucket getter vs the Gophers. The length and tenacity of Rutgers will prove to be a stouter test than a banged up Minnesota team that can't play away from home. There is hay to be made against a Rutgers team that will put you on the line; can Nebraska take advantage or will they spend yet another night getting their pockets picked?
Prediction: Rutgers 65 - Nebraska 60