The Rutgers men's basketball team is gearing up for two more home games this week. The Scarlet Knights (2-1, 0-0) will face Georgetown on Wednesday before playing against Howard on Saturday.
Rutgers currently holds a two-game winning streak following a loss in its season opener against Princeton. While the Knights have started winning games, they have looked far from perfect in these contests.
Rutgers played its best game of the season against Boston University, as the Knights rolled to a 69-45 victory over the Terriers (0-2, 0-0). Despite the win, Rutgers only shot 44.2 percent from the field, 28 percent from beyond the arc and 53.3 percent from the free throw line.
The Knights followed up their victory over Boston University with another win against Bryant. Rutgers squeaked past the Bulldogs (1-2, 0-0) by a final score of 66-57. The offense struggled even more as the Knights shot 31.1 percent from the field, 18.2 percent from three-point range and 70.6 percent from the charity stripe.
While Rutgers has struggled, things are bound to improve in the near future. The miscues from essentially everywhere on the offensive end should not continue forever, as the Knights likely need a bit more time to start playing more cohesively.
Freshman guards Gavin Griffiths and Jamichael Davis, fifth-year guard Noah Fernandes and graduate student guard Austin Williams are all fresh faces on the Banks and have been playing significant minutes for head coach Steve Pikiell. With four new rotational pieces and a brand new style of basketball, it may take Rutgers some time to mesh together and play to its full potential.
The Knights will hope for this improvement to come sooner rather than later, as the Hoyas (1-1, 0-0) come to Piscataway on Wednesday. Georgetown is coming off of a 68-67 upset loss to Holy Cross, in which the Hoyas fell due to a final-minute three-pointer from the Crusaders (1-1, 0-0).
Ed Cooley is Georgetown's new head coach, who is joining the program after 12 years as Providence's head coach. Cooley replaced Patrick Ewing in the offseason, who had a 75-109 record in six seasons with the Hoyas. Cooley will be looking to make an impression in his first season with the team and pick up his first signature win against Rutgers.
Georgetown will likely lean heavily on Rowan Brumbaugh, considering he leads the Hoyas in scoring and many offensive sets are run through him. Look for the Knights to slow Brumbaugh down by having sophomore guard Derek Simpson or Williams guard him on defense.
Following its showdown with Georgetown, Rutgers will host the Bison (1-2, 0-0) on Saturday. Howard has lost its last two games to Georgia Tech and James Madison after winning its season opener against Hampton.
The Bison will be a feisty opponent for the Knights as they went 22-13 last season and were an NCAA Tournament team.
Wednesday's matchup against the Hoyas will tip off at 8:30 p.m. and be broadcast on Fox Sports 1 and 88.7 WRSU-FM. Saturday's game against the Bison will begin at 6 p.m. and be broadcast on Big Ten Plus and 88.7 WRSU-FM.
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