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Rutgers Preview-Capsule

By The Associated PressOctober 25, 2018

Rutgers

Last season: 15-19, surprised many by reaching quarterfinals of Big Ten tournament.

Nickname: Scarlet Knights.

Coach: Steve Pikiell.

Conference: Big Ten.

Who’s gone: Guard and leading scorer Corey Sanders opted for the NBA and was not drafted. G Mike Williams, F DeShawn Freeman, F Candido Sa, F Matt Bullock and G Souf Mensah.

Who’s back: Sophomore guard Geo Baker started 29 games as a freshman, averaging 10.8 points and 2.2 rebounds. Among Big Ten freshmen, ranked top five in minutes, assists and 3-point field goal percentage. Junior forward Eugene Omoruyi started the final seven games, averaging 7.9 points and 5.0 rebounds. Junior swingman Issa Thiam started 33 of 34 games, averaging 29 minutes, 7.0 points and 4.4 rebounds. Graduate center Shaquille Doorson made his four starts in the final five games. He averaged 12 minutes, 1.8 points and 2.9 rebounds. Sophomore center Mamadou Doucoure started 29 games, averaging 2.8 points and 3.2 rebounds in 13 minutes.

Who’s new: Sophomore G Peter Kiss, who averaged 13.3 points and 5.6 rebounds as a freshman at Quinnipiac, is eligible after sitting out a transfer season. Freshman center-forward Myles Johnson will play after redshirting last season. The Scarlet Knights have three freshmen who should see action: guards Caleb McConnell, Montez Mathis and swingman Ron Harper Jr. McConnell averaged 15.0 points, 6.0 rebounds, 4.3 assists and 2.0 steals as a senior SPIRE Institute in Ohio. Mathis was a consensus four-star recruit at John Carroll High School in Baltimore. Harper averaged 20.8 points for Don Bosco Prep in New Jersey. JUCO transfer F Shaq Carter will see action.

The Skinny: Rutgers has not been to the NCAA Tournament since 1990-91. It has only had five winning seasons since that time, the last in 2005-06. Since joining the Big Ten in 2014-15, it has won nine regular-season games. No wonder Vegas says their odds of winning the national title are 6,000-1.

Expectations: They lost a little too much and they are too young. A .500 season would be great.

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