Safe to say the 48-plus hours from Sunday through Tuesday were not the best for Rutgers basketball, First, Sunday’s Selection Show saw the Scarlet Knights left off the board of the Big Dance. Disappointment and wonder why soon followed by NIT bid, that quickly came along with a number one seed. Rutgers would be at home in the friendly confines of Jersey Mike’s (the RAC) for each game until the ‘Final Four’ in Las Vegas. Well, the home court advantage was short-lived, as was Rutgers' stay in the NIT. Hofstra (25-9) came in scoring an 88-86 overtime upset. The Scarlet Knights finished their season at 19-15. The numbers…
Offensive efficiency: Hofstra 122, Rutgers 119. High field goal percentages and low turnover rates, at least for Rutgers, added up to very high efficiency for both teams.
eFG Pct: Hofstra 65, Rutgers 57. Both teams shot the ball well. The Pride shot 69% (27-39) from two point range and 39% (10-26) beyond the arc. Rutgers’ numbers were 55% (27-49) from two and 40% (8-20) from three.
FT Rate: Rutgers 19, Hofstra 8
OREB Pct: Hofstra 41, Rutgers 37. In overall ‘raw’ numbers, Hofstra held a 34-30 advantage.
TO Rate: Rutgers 14, Hofstra 22
What Hofstra did well. Maintain poise and spread the wealth. Rutgers jumped out to an early ten point lead. Speedy Claxton’s Pride did not get rattled in what is considered one of the toughest environments for a visiting team to face. Hofstra placed five players in double figures. Tyler Thomas (11-18 from the field) led the way with a game-high 25 points.
What Rutgers did well. Force turnovers. Hofstra was guilty of 16 turnovers, a 22% TO rate. Rutgers enjoyed a 20-13 edge in points off turnovers. Scarlet Knights also posted an offensive efficiency, 13 points higher than their season average of 106.
Kenpom.com MVP: Cam Spencer, Rutgers. The 6’4" senior led the Scarlet Knights with 22 points. Spencer also added eight rebounds, five assists and zero turnovers in 39 minutes of action.
Rutgers ended the season with an empty feeling. Nineteen wins and a post season tournament is an accomplishment. Getting a win at number one Purdue back in January, another notable achievement for Steve Pikiell’s group. On the other hand, they dropped four of their last five. Late season losses at Minnesota and home to Northwestern did not help their NCAA resume. In the B10 Tournament a win over Michigan was followed by a tough setback against Purdue. The Scarlet Knights had an opportunity, given their number one seed, to go on a long NIT run. Unfortunately, it was one and done.