After a more eventful two days to open the college basketball season Rutgers will tip off their season in a home game against Bryant in the lone Big Ten game of the night.
Game of the Day
Time/TV: 7:00 PM ET (BTN)
Spread: Rutgers (-21.5)
The Bryant Bulldogs have only won 13 games in the past two seasons and haven’t had a winning season since 2014-15. Sporting a KenPom rating in the 300s the Bulldogs opened their season with a narrow loss to Brown and will now face a decisively tougher opponent in Rutgers.
Rutgers is hoping to make some progress in Steve Pikiell’s fourth season after winning 15, 15 and 14 games the past three seasons. The Scarlet Knights have dropped some pretty bad non-conference games under Pikiell, including a loss to 12-20 Fordham last winter. That being said, the Scarlet Knights shouldn’t see much of a threat of losing tonight and pulling a Nebraska.
In Bryant’s opening loss they shot 28.6% from three on 28 attempts and were cold from the field throughout the night. Adam Grant had a big day with 21 points on 7 of 19 shooting, but the remaining four starters had a combined 16 points. With an undersized starting five that was 288th in field goal percentage last year and 274th in three point percentage, it could be a struggle to get going offensively tonight.
Look for Rutgers to lock down on Bryant defensively and to give junior Geo Baker plenty of touches on the offensive side of the ball. Rutgers has a roster that will be challenged when conference play rolls along, but should have no problem in their season opener.
Pick Against the Spread: Bryant