NCAA Men’s Basketball: Rutgers Scarlet Knights vs Purdue Boilermakers – Possible Lineups and Predictions

Published 12/29/2020, 1:00 PM EST
Dec 20, 2020; Piscataway, New Jersey, USA; Rutgers Scarlet Knights guards Jacob Young (42) and Geo Baker (0) celebrate after defeating the Illinois Fighting Illini at Rutgers Athletic Center (RAC). Mandatory Credit: Catalina Fragoso-USA TODAY Sports


The Rutgers Scarlet Knights are back with NCAA Men’s Basketball action as they take on the Purdue Boilermakers. After being ranked in the preseason for the first time since 1976, the Scarlet Knights are living up to expectations.

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They started as #24 in the preseason and are currently at #14. This has come via a 6-1 run so far, and their only loss came in their last game against Ohio State. It was a surprising loss, after Rutgers was in good form, beating opponents like Maryland and Illinois.

The Scarlet Knights started well and led by 16 at half-time. But a second-half collapse led to them giving up 50 points, and the game ended 68-80. So they will be aiming to bounce back in this game.

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Purdue’s current record is 7-3 and they are coming off a narrow victory against Maryland. They held off a second-half barrage and edged out the Terrapins by three points. The Boilermakers come in with a psychological advantage, knowing that they have already beaten Ohio State once, unlike Rutgers.

NCAA Men’s Basketball: Can the Scarlet Knights avoid another upset?

The Scarlet Knights lineup will consist of Jacob Young, Ron Harper Jr, and Montez Mathis as the guards, and Paul Mulcahy and Myles Johnson as the forwards. They will miss Cliff Omoruyi for a successive game after he suffered a sprained knee against Illinois.

Harper has been in good form so far and will be a handful for the Purdue defense. He is currently averaging 23.4 points and 7.1 rebounds while shooting a ridiculous 50% from three. Rutgers will need a big contribution from him to overcome Purdue.

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Dec 23, 2020; Columbus, Ohio, USA; Rutgers Scarlet Knights guard Ron Harper Jr. (24) drives past Ohio State Buckeyes forward Kyle Young (25) during the first half at Value City Arena. Mandatory Credit: Joseph Maiorana-USA TODAY Sports

The Boilermakers will start with Mason Gillis and Trevion Williams as their forwards, and Brandon Newman, Eric Hunter Jr, and Sasha Stefanovic as their guards. Williams has been their star so far, leading them in both points and rebounds. His inside scoring is lethal, and the Scarlet Knights will have to be strong in the paint against him.

This will be a close encounter, but the Scarlet Knights should be able to pull through with a win. Johnson against Williams is a terrible mismatch for them, but Harper should be able to guide his team to their 7th win of the season.

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Dec 16, 2020; West Lafayette, Indiana, USA; Purdue Boilermakers forward Trevion Williams (50) controls the ball against Ohio State Buckeyes forward Kyle Young (25) in the second half at Mackey Arena. Mandatory Credit: Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

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Aaron Mathew

1522 articles

Aaron Mathew is a sports analyst at EssentiallySports. A graduate in Mass Media from Xavier’s College, Aaron has been a part of EssentiallySports since May 2020 where he covers both NBA and NCAA basketball news, and has also covered NBA 2K. In the past, Aaron has worked at the Sports Desk of Mumbai Mirror.

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