The Scarlet Knights are coming off a dominant win over in-state opponent Saint Peters. The Knights got off to a slow start but when the offense started humming, the match became one sided pretty quickly as the Knights handed the Peacocks a 71-40 loss. A major contributor to this dominating performance was guard Noah Fernandes. He shot 5-9 from the floor and 9-9 from the free throw line. This is just one example of how well he has played this season. Here are a few highlights from his season so far.
Free Throws: Rutgers has been looking for some consistency on the Free Throw line for a while. They finally found a player in Fernandes who can consistently hit those one-pointers. So far this season Fernandes is 16-20 or 80% from the line. This can go a long way to help a team that was 10th in the Big Ten for free throw percentage last year. Big Ten games can often come down to just a few points and having consistency at the line can make a huge difference.
Steals: Fernandes has been sneakily good at taking the ball away as he leads the team with 9 steals. Anytime you can take the ball away from the other team and get your offense going again is a huge advantage. Fernandes has been key in doing just that.
Assists: This one plays perfectly in Steve Pikiell’s system. Fernandes has proven to be an unselfish player as he is tied for second on the team in assists with 15. Having a player who is willing to pass the ball around and find someone with an open shot is key to setting up better scoring opportunities. This can also help keep the defenders honest to avoid being burned on a pass out to someone else. Pikiell's offense and Basketball offenses in general have a tendency to run a lot smoother when they have smart and unselfish players who will pass the ball out when they need to.