Rutgers Basketball: Non-Conference Schedule Breakdown

Head coach Mike Rice had an impressive first year with the Rutgers Scarlet Knights, but last year they took a step back. Now, in his third season as head coach, Rice looks to lead the Scarlett Knights to their best season in a long time, and that starts with the non-conference schedule.

Behind sophomore Eli Carter and the supporting cast of Myles Mack, Dane Miller, Jerome Seagers, Kadeem Jack and Mike Poole, Rutgers has the chance to shock the Big East. Here’s a breakdown of their non-conference schedule.

 

  • The team opens up their season with back-to-back home games against St. Peter’s and Sacred Heart, both which should be easy wins. The Scarlett Knights struggled in non-conference play last season, so it’s important that they win the games they’re supposed to win.
  • Next up is a road test with Princeton. Rutgers lost to the Tigers by one last season, but because of the loss of Douglas Davis, I give the Knights a slight edge here.
  • Boston University has been very good the past few years and they should be again this season. The Terriers will hand Rutgers their first loss at the RAC this year.
  • Speaking of firsts, the Scarlett Knights will get their first road win against UNC-Greensboro. The Spartans were good last year, but not in non-conference, where they beat only NC Pembroke (Division II school) and Towson (one win last season).
  • The next two games will be tough against Ole Miss and Iona. While I think the Scarlett Knights will drop their Big East/SEC challenge to the Rebels, but will squeeze by the Scott Machado-less Gaels in Madison Square Garden.
  • The final four non-conference games are all very winnable: home games against George Washington, UAB, Howard, and Rider. However, I feel like Rutgers will drop at least one, probably to the Blazers.
That leaves the Scarlett Knights with a record of 8-3. However, if they revert back to how they were last season when they lost games they shouldn’t have, it will be a long year. It’s up to Carter and Rice to lead this team to success.
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