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Nebrasketball: Rutgers Preview

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The Scarlet Knights are still pulling their way out of the Big Ten basement

Ohio State v Rutgers Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images

Rutgers Scarlet Knights Preview

Date: Monday, January 21st

Time: 7:00pm CST

Location: Piscataway, NJ

TV: BTN

2017-18 Record: 15-19 (3-15 Big Ten Conference)

2018-19 Record: 8-8 (1-5 Big Ten Conference)

Head Coach: Steve Pikiell (3rd Season)

Previous Season

Like football, Rutgers men’s basketball squad seems to find itself in the Big Ten basement more often than not. They fished the season with fifteen total wins and only three of them in conference play. Giving them the not so coveted spot of last place in the Big Ten. They did do well in the conference tournament. Beating Minnesota in the first round and then Indiana to make it to the quarterfinals where their season was ended by Purdue.

I will add they did have one big upset against a then #15 ranked Seaton Hall in the Big Ten/ACC Challenge. The other high point to an otherwise disappointing year for the Scarlet Knights.

Current Season

Rutgers is still struggling though they’re not currently at the bottom of the conference. They’re third from last. The bottom is held by Penn State which Nebraska already beat. So they’ve got that going for them.

The Scarlet Knights are currently 8-9 and 1-6 in the Big Ten. Their lone conference win was a huge 64-61 upset of then #16 Ohio State back on January 9th.

Gone is point guard Corey Sanders who declared for the NBA draft after last season and is currently playing in the NBA G league. His exit has left a bit of a talent gap in this team but there are a few that have picked up the slack.

One for example is forward Eugene Omoruyi. The junior its averaging 14.6 points, 7.5 rebounds, and 1.8 assists per game. His points has more than doubled from last year. He injured his knee early in the win against Ohio State and has missed the two games since. It is expected for him to miss the game in Piscataway and without him there will be a gap in the paint the Huskers should be able to take advantage of.

Sophomore guard Geo Baker has picked up his game a little from last year averaging 12.9 points, 2.9 rebounds, and 4.4 assists per game. He isn’t the best shooter from the floor shooting 35% but will need to be kept in check as the game goes on. Geo was clutch in the win against the Buckeyes by scoring the winning shot.

Also of note is Peter Kiss. He is another sophomore guard who is averaging 7.8. points and 2.4 rebounds per game.

Prediction

Rutgers doesn’t bring a lot to the table. Especially with their top player most likely out for the game against Nebraska. Their offense is one of the worst that Nebraska will see and their defense shouldn’t keep the Huskers from scoring.

I think a lot of people are still trying to figure out how they snake bit Ohio State to be honest. They followed the win up with losses to Minnesota and Purdue. Neither team are terrible but have struggled off and on this year.

Huskers are too experienced to lose this game and are also still upset about the loss to Michigan State. Nebraska is predicted to win big in this Big Ten road game and I agree with Vegas.

University of Nebraska 85 Rutgers University 71