#84 Rutgers Men's Basketball 2021-2022 Preview

Rutgers Scarlet Knights
2021-2022 Overall Rank: #84
Conference Rank: #11 Big Ten
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Rutgers finally put an end to their 30-year NCAA Tournament drought. The 2020-2021 campaign did not go quite as well as the 2019-2020 season, but the Scarlet Knights did win their first tournament game since 1983 and nearly upset #2 seeded Houston in the Second Round. Coach Steve Pikiell has lost a few key players though and that could result in a step back and the beginning of another NCAA Tournament drought.
2020-21 Record: 16-12, 10-10
2020-21 Postseason: NCAA
Coach: Steve Pikiell
Coach Record: 80-77 at Rutgers, 277-252 overall
Key Departed Players:
Jacob Young, Guard, 14.1 ppg
Myles Johnson, Center, 8.0 ppg
Montez Mathis, Guard, 8.3 ppg
Key Returning Players:
Ron Harper Jr, Senior, Guard/Forward, 14.9 ppg
Geo Baker, Senior, Guard, 10.4 ppg
Paul Mulcahy, Junior, Guard, 5.9 ppg
Caleb McConnell, Senior, Guard, 5.7 ppg
Clifford Omoruvi, Sophomore, Center, 3.8 ppg
Mawot Mag, Sophomore, Forward, 2.0 ppg
Jaden Jones, Freshman, Guard/Forward, 0.8 ppg
Key New Players:
Ralph Agee, Senior, Forward, Transfer from San Jose State
Aundre Hyatt, Sophomore, Forward, Transfer from LSU
Jalen Miller, Freshman, Guard
Logan Stephens, Freshman, Guard
Ron Harper Jr. and Geo Baker return to form a solid backcourt duo. Harper led the Scarlet Knights with 14.9 points per game and added 5.9 rebounds. Baker tallied 10.4 points and dished out 3.2 assists. Both took quite a few three-pointers last season, but were not consistent from beyond the arc. The team as a whole shot just 31.2 percent from long range and both Harper and Baker brought that average down. Paul Mulcahy and Caleb McConnell will look to help pick up the perimeter scoring slack lost with the transfers of Jacob Young and Montez Mathis. Clifford Omoruyi had a promising freshman campaign, averaging 3.8 points and 4.0 rebounds in about 15 minutes per game. Rutgers went out and picked up a couple frontcourt transfers to help replace Myles Johnson. Aundre Hyatt comes from LSU where he started 17 games over the last two years. Ralph Agee had a very productive 2020-2021 season at San Jose State where he averaged 11.1 points and 5.2 rebounds. This could be a tough year for Rutgers. The success of the last two years will not completely go away and this group should remain competitive, but doing enough to return to the NCAA Tournament will be difficult with an always brutal Big Ten schedule.
Projected Postseason Tournament: NIT
By the Numbers:
Scoring Offense: 69.2 (230th in nation, 13th in conference)
Scoring Defense: 67.6 (93, 5)
Field-Goal Percentage: 44.9 (117, 6)
Field-Goal Defense: 41.6 (71, 4)
Three-Point Field Goals Per Game: 6.1 (281, 13)
Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: 31.2 (286, 13)
Free-Throw Percentage: 63.6 (328, 14)
Rebound Margin: -1.1 (224, 8)
Assists Per Game: 13.7 (125, 9)
Turnovers Per Game: 11.5 (57, 8)