Rutgers Men's Basketball 2020 NCAA Tournament Capsule


Rutgers Scarlet Knights

Big Ten (20-11, 11-9)

Rutgers has not reached the NCAA Tournament since 1991. That was three conferences ago. In a season with quite a few surprises in the Big Ten, Rutgers may be the biggest surprise of them all. The heart of the Big Ten schedule provided some tough obstacles, but Rutgers proved that they can beat some quality teams and possibly win their first NCAA Tournament game since 1983.
Big Wins: 12/11 Wisconsin (72-65), 12/14 Seton Hall (68-48), 3/3 Maryland (78-67)
Bad Losses: 11/16 vs St. Bonaventure (74-80), 12/3 at Pittsburgh (60-71), 2/26 at Penn State (64-65)
Coach: Steve Pikiell
Why They Can Surprise:
Rutgers impressive turnaround has largely been due to their defense. The team ranks second in the Big Ten allowing just 62.6 points per game. The opposition shoots a mere 38.3 percent from the floor. With defense like that, it does not take much offense to win games. Rutgers has also been very productive on the glass. Sophomore Myles Johnson has emerged as one of the best rebounders in the conference and frontcourt mates Akwasi Yeboah and Shaq Carter will certainly help out. Ron Harper, Jr. is a big 6-6 guard and is actually second on the team with 5.8 rebounds per game.
Why They Can Disappoint:
Harper also leads a very balanced offense. Seven players average between 6.7 and 12.1 points per game. That can be a bit problematic though since Rutgers lacks a consistent go-to-scorer. Harper will often fill that role and Geo Baker has had some great outings too, but the pressure will be on during the tournament and it remains to be seen how this group will react. Rutgers does have quite a bit of experience, but the lack of tournament experience could put an end to their March dreams earlier than hoped.
Probable Starters:
Geo Baker, Junior, Guard, 10.9 ppg, 3.5 apg
Montez Mathis, Sophomore, Guard, 7.4 ppg, 1.2 apg
Ron Harper Jr., Sophomore, Guard, 12.1 pg, 1.0 apg, 5.8 rpg
Akwasi Yeboah, Senior, Forward, 9.8 ppg, 4.8 rpg
Shaq Carter, Senior, Forward, 3.6 ppg, 2.5 rpg
Key Role Players:
Myles Johnson, Sophomore, Center, 7.8 ppg, 7.9 rpg, 1.5 bpg
Paul Mulcahy, Freshman, Guard, 3.7 ppg, 2.0 apg
Caleb McConnell, Sophomore, Guard, 6.7 ppg, 1.5 apg
Jacob Young, Junior, Guard, 8.5 ppg, 1.9 apg
By the Numbers:
Scoring Offense: 69.9 (214th in nation, 11th in conference)
Scoring Defense: 62.6 (18, 2)
Field-Goal Percentage: 44.7 (126, 4)
Field-Goal Defense: 38.3 (8, 2)
Three-Point Field Goals Per Game: 5.5 (314, 13)
Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: 31.0 (289, 13)
Free-Throw Percentage: 64.4 (329, 13)
Rebound Margin: 5.9 (27, 3)
Assists Per Game: 12.7 (210, 12)
Turnovers Per Game: 12.2 (89, 11)
Recent Postseason Appearances:
No Recent Tournament History
*all team stats through 3/8