Which teams will have a better season?
Rutgers will play at a new level when the men’s team takes the court Friday night.
The Blue Devils are hoping that they can avoid falling to a season that has been the worst in school history, as they face a second straight season of losing to New Mexico State.
The Red Storm are looking to get back on track against a Red Storm team that will be without All-American forward Jordan McLaughlin, who is expected to miss the rest of the season.
“We’re going to do everything in our power to get better,” Rutgers head coachand basketball coachsaid.
“I’ve been told that’s what we’ve been working on.”
The Red Cloud are coming off a 6-8 campaign, which included a season sweep at home over Florida.
They have a lot of work to do to make a postseason run.
They have won four of their last five games, including a 20-point win over a ranked opponent on Saturday night.
Rutgers will try to avoid its worst season in program history, which is the third-worst in school and second-worst on the conference.
Rutgers lost seven of its first eight games, which tied a school record.
The Scarlet Knights have been a bit of a roller coaster this season.
They were a preseason top-25 team but dropped to the bottom of the poll in the final rankings after a 2-9 start.
They then beat Duke in the national semifinals and then lost to Duke again.
They ended the season ranked sixth.
The team has struggled to come out of a bad first half.
It has allowed 31.3 points per game in the first half, but the Red Storm rank 29th in the nation in scoring defense (95.8 points per contest).
Ruthers is also missing senior guard(ankle) and senior guardand senior forward(legs).
All three players will miss their first games of the year.
“The first half was tough,” Rutgers coachsaid after Saturday’s win.
“There were a couple of big turnovers.
I thought we got our guys back and our team started to come together.”
The Scarlet Devils have had three players with a season-ending injury since the start of the 2013-14 season, when All-America centerTrevor Stancil suffered a season ending knee injury.
The injuries have forced Rutgers to adjust its offense.
They’re averaging only 78.6 points per games, their worst mark in the league.
Rutsos scoring is up from last season, but they are averaging less than half that number this season, and that will likely hurt them in the coming games.
“Our guys have done a lot more than we expected,” Rutgers guardsaid.
“When you get guys like (Garrett) Green and (Matt) Gill, you know you can make plays.
I think they’ve been doing a lot better.”
The Blue Jays also had a big loss when they lost to Maryland in the quarterfinals of the Big East tournament.
They lost the tournament for the first time since they lost in the Sweet 16 to Syracuse in 2014.RUTGERS PLAYER TO WATCH:Rutger has one of the best player pools in the country.
The Blue Jays have six players with at least 100 points and two with double-digit scoring.RISING UP:RUTgers will play a home game against the defending national champion and the No. 2 team in the polls.
The last time the Scarlet Knights played in the Atlantic Coast Conference Tournament, they lost 63-62 to the Boston College Eagles on Feb. 10, 2014.
Rutgers had a better record in the last five meetings with the Eagles.