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Rutgers Basketball: Is a run coming or are Scarlet Knights ready for next season?

Rutgers stayed alive with its win over Nebraska but was it enough?

NCAA Basketball: Nebraska at Rutgers Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

Help is on the way for the Scarlet Knights. We know that Dylan Harper and Ace Bailey are coming but they will not be there this season.

This has created a bit of a gap year for the Scarlet Knights. The question is, are there wins on the schedule after Rutgers stayed alive on Wednesday night vs. Nebraska?

Let’s start with the team as a whole. Rutgers needed a new backcourt to step up big time after both Cam Spencer and Paul Mulcahy transferred during the offseason. To a point, this has happened but the offensive numbers have not been there after losing two of its key members.

Just how bad has it been? Rutgers is currently dead last in the Big Ten in scoring (68.6), field goal percentage (39%), and free throw percentage (65.4%). Rutgers is also 13th in three-point percentage (29.9%). On the other hand, Rutgers has rebounded well all season and is third in the conference with 39.6 per game and third in turnover margin at 3.71.

With some high-scoring teams in the Big Ten, the Scarlet Knights need to turn it around quickly on the offensive end.

The second aspect is the schedule. Rutgers is just 1-7 against Quad 1 opponents this season. In a strange way, the Scarlet Knights are Seton Hall fans the rest of the way so that remains a Quad 1 win.

Rutgers is 9-0 against Quad 2-4 teams. A win is a win but a one-point home win against one of the worst teams in the nation, Stonehill, does not look great. A come-from-behind win against Nebraska on Wednesday kept the season alive but is there a run that Rutgers can go on moving forward?

The next two games will be opportunities to earn that statement victory that Rutgers needs on the resume. First, it will travel to Champaign to take on No. 14 Illinois on Sunday. The Scarlet Knights will then have a week off before returning home to host No. 2 Purdue. These are two out of six remaining Quad 1 games for Rutgers. After this two-game stretch, Rutgers will need to go on a run.

If they can steal one of the next two, the Scarlet Knights put themselves in a decent position. After that, they will take on Penn State, Michigan, and Maryland. The Big Ten schedule is difficult once again but there are potential wins on the schedule if all goes right.

To answer the question above, the season is not completely out of hand just yet. The win over the Cornhuskers kept Rutgers’ head above water. Now, it will be about stacking wins together with hopes of returning to the NCAA Tournament.

Rutgers Upcoming Schedule

Quad 1: 1/21 at Illinois, 1/28 vs. Purdue, 2/10 vs. Wisconsin, 2/22 at Purdue, 3/3 at Nebraska, 3/7 at Wisconsin

Quad 2: 2/3 at Michigan, 2/6 at Maryland, 2/15 vs. Northwestern, 2/18 at Minnesota, 3/10 vs. Ohio State

Quad 3: 1/31 vs. Penn State, 2/25 vs. Maryland, 2/29 vs. Michigan