Undefeated Rutgers continues the soft non-conference portion of its schedule when it hosts Bryant on Tuesday. The Scarlet Knights have won three of their first four games by at least 25 points.
Steve Pikiell’s team was ranked first in the nation in scoring defense entering Monday, allowing 45.5 points per game. Only Central Connecticut State, which Rutgers defeated 71-67, has managed more than 39 points against the defensive-minded Knights. Corey Sanders leads the team in scoring at 11.9 points per game, but was removed from the starting lineup in the last contest. The Bulldogs have been tested with road losses against Georgia and North Carolina State before losing their last game at home against Navy.
TV: 7 p.m. ET, Big Ten Network Plus
ABOUT BRYANT (0-3): The Bulldogs were picked to finish fifth in the Northeast Conference preseason poll and brought back three starters from last year’s squad which went 12-20. Adam Grant is one of the returners and he leads the team in scoring 20.7 points. Australian Bosko Kostur went 0-for-8 from the floor in Bryant’s season opener, but he’s hit 14 of his last 21 attempts and scored a game-high 25 points the Bulldogs’ 79-71 loss to Navy.
ABOUT RUTGERS (4-0): Despite the promising results, Pikiell managed to send a message to his star player, Sanders, last game by bringing him off the bench. “I’m really trying to raise our standards in practice; I’m very hopeful that this may motivate him to utilize practice a little bit better,” Pikiell said. The only worry about the Knights thus far has been their shooting statistics as they ranked 347th in 3-point shooting percentage (20.5) and 338th from the free-throw line (57.1) among the 351 Division I teams in the nation.
1. Rutgers F Eugene Omoruyi led the team in scoring with 19 points, eight rebounds and three assists in 25 minutes of a 64-39 victory over Coppin State last time out.
2. Bryant has been hammered on the boards this season, and are pulling down 30 rebounds per game, which was tied for 330th.
3. Rutgers’ first seven games are at home.
PREDICTION: Rutgers 70, Bryant 53