The Scarlet Knights lost 67-55 in Nebraska. Here is my thoughts:
Good to See Mike and Eugene Back: Let’s get this out of the way. Having Mike Williams and Eugene Omoruyi back on the court made Rutgers look like a basketball team again. Rutgers did a better job running their sets. Mike hustled and was in the right place at the right time. Eugene Omoruyi got to the rim, drew a charge and helped Rutgers look like a team that was hustling, even when things were starting to spiral out of control a little bit. This will help down the stretch, hopefully. Rutgers needs to find some more wins. After the game, Pikiell pointed out that the addition of of these two players put them out of sync.
Isaiah Roby Was a Match-Up Nightmare: When Roby was on the court, he was the type of player that Deshawn Freeman just couldn’t stop a guy who can shoot the three, run the floor and post him up. He’s the kind of player I bet Steve Pikiell would kill to have. When Rutgers made its run to get close, it’s because Roby was in foul trouble. But the moment he was able to play a little bit freely in the 2nd half, he helped the Cornhuskers pull away.
My Kingdom for a Shooter: Rutgers made 2 three pointers the entire game. If they make 5, like most college teams can, it’s a 3 point game down the stretch. That puts pressure on the Huskers to execute. They might have, but putting pressure on the a team trying to get into the tournament is what you want to do as the road team. Make them make a mistake. Rutgers lack of shooting (they missed a ton of lay-ups too) didn’t allow that to happen.
The Refereeing is Noticable: Rutgers is not getting a favorable whistle. The refs have been questionable at home, and they’ve been even worse at home. Listen, Rutgers wasn’t winning this game unless the stripes put Rutgers on the line every possession, but still, the refs still need to call this like its a basketball game, not a coronation for Nebraska before the first TV timeout. A thing to notice, last time when Corey Sanders took a technical against Minnesota—in a game that was close that this at the time—Pikiell sat Corey for the rest of the game. This time, Corey was back in less than 2 minutes later.