A Big10 matchup with two teams going in the opposite directions will meet on Wednesday night when the Rutgers Scarlet Knights take on the Iowa Hawkeyes.
The Scarlet Knights have won four straight games and now find themselves back in the top 25. Rutgers is a strong defensive team, ranking 17th in Kenpom in defensive efficiency. The return of big man Cliff Omoruyi has added to the depth in the middle, along with starter Myles Johnson they should be able to make trouble for Iowa star Luka Garza. On the offensive end Rutgers has a litany of talent that makes them unpredictable at times. Ron Harper Jr. leads the team in scoring averaging 16 ppg. He is one of four that average double digits along with Montez Mathis, Jacob Young and Gio Baker. They really spread out the scoring and it showed in their first matchup with the Hawkeyes with five players scoring 13 points or moreAs a team the Rutgers offense averages 68 ppg but they are extremely efficient in getting those points. They are a top 50 team in offensive efficiency.
Iowa has not lived up to the preseason potential. The offense is still elite, ranking 3rd in the nation in scoring, averaging 87 ppg. Iowa did a lot of that damage against some of the lesser competition in college basketball. They have had an issue with some of the more athletic teams in college basketball. Indiana gave them trouble on the defensive end, doubling down on Garza as much as they could and forcing it out of his hands. The potential return of CJ Fredrick could help with the outlet passes that can lead to points. Iowa will find points but their problems on defense are impossible to ignore. They are currently giving up 74 points per game on the season ranking 279th in the nation.
Iowa is the superior team on offense, but they have an issue with turnovers and consistency. Garza put up 25 in their first matchup shooting 9 for 11. Rutgers played that game without Cliff Omoruyi, his addition will create more havoc for Garza. Keegan Murray stepped up in their last matchup, he is the only player on Iowa that can match the athleticism of Rutgers. The Scarlet Knights will keep this game close. Seven points in this matchup is too much for two teams that are going in opposite directions.
Play of the day: Rutgers Scarlet Knights +7