January 25, 2021

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Big 10 Season Preview: Rutgers Scarlet Knights

Big 10 Basketball Preview: Rutgers Scarlet Knights

We jump over to the Garden State to preview the Rutgers Scarlet Knights

Rutgers Scarlet Knights:

2019-2020 overall record: 20-11

2019-2020 Big 10 record: 11-9

2019-2020 Big 10 Ranking: 5th

2019-2020 Season Recap

Even though they probably wouldn’t have even made it to the 2nd weekend of the NCAA tournament, Rutgers were easily one of the most disappointed teams in the country that the tournament got cancelled. The Scarlet Knights were poised to get to the NCAA tournament for the first time since 1991. Not only was it that long since they made the tournament, this was their first winning record in 15 years! Rutgers had zero expectations coming into the year and they blew their non-existent expectations out of the water. They even got ranked for the first time since 1979!

2020-2021 Outlook

After an impressive season a year ago, the Scarlet Knights look to have an even better season this year. Rutgers returns pretty much all of their major contributors. None of them are more important than Geo Baker though. One of the best players in school history, Baker returns as a 4 year starter after averaging 10.9 PPG, 3.0 RPG, and 3.5 APG as a junior. Rutgers’ other most important player, maybe even their best player, is Ron Harper Jr. Harper averaged 12.1 points per game as a sophomore to go along with 5.8 rebounds per game. The Knights also return potential starters Montez Mathis, Caleb McConnell, and Myles Johnson who all started at least 20 games last season. One thing that gives me a slight pause about the Knights this year is the ability to win on the road. Rutgers posted an incredible 18-1 home record at the RAC, but this number will drop off especially without fans in the stands. I do think however that Rutgers should easily improve upon the 2-8 road record but by how much will determine the ceiling of the Scarlet Knights. Steve Pikiell, who deserves more recognition, and his squad should turn even more heads this year and be a top 6 team in the best conference in the country as well as should be at least a 7 seed in the big dance.

2020-2021 Projected Starting Lineup:

G: Geo Baker

G: Montez Mathis

F: Caleb McConnell

F: Ron Harper Jr

C: Myles Johnson

2020/2021 Projected Big 10 Ranking: 6th

2020/2021 Projected Postseason Placement – 6th