Can Scarlet Knights prevent Luka Garza, nation’s very best offense?

1 of the most significant online games of the Large 10 basketball time — and in modern Rutgers basketball heritage — can take place in Piscataway this Saturday.

The No. 14 Scarlet Knights hosts No. 10 Iowa at the Rutgers Athletic Center (2 p.m., ESPN2) in the ninth ranked-on-rated matchup in application record. Rutgers is 3-5 in that scenario, with an -2 record in meetings involving prime-15 teams. The Scarlet Knights are 1-1 in rated matchups this period, defeating then-No. 13 Illinois at the RAC but slipping to then-No. 23 Ohio Condition in Columbus.

A earn would hold Rutgers at the major of the Massive Ten standings, where by it at present stands in a five-way tie for very first put with the Illini, Michigan, Northwestern and Wisconsin. It would also mark the Scarlet Knights’ next acquire in excess of a Massive Ten title contender (Iowa was picked to end 2nd in the league’s preseason media poll), further more proving the Scarlet Knights belong among the conference’s elite this season.

Listed here are 5 points to check out for in the monster matchup:

Anticipate a slugfest

The Hawkeyes come into Piscataway with the most successful offense in the country, for each KenPom, averaging 1.22 details for every possession. That interprets to 94.3 points for every match, the prime scoring normal in the Huge 10 and fourth best in the country. As economical as Rutgers’ protection is (.915 PPP, 24th nationally), the Scarlet Knights are possible in for a lengthy afternoon on that conclude of the ground.

The Scarlet Knights will require to retain pace with Iowa offensively in a sport possible to break into the 80 1/4 u2032s, a important region teams want to get the Hawkeyes into. Iowa is -2 when conceding more than 80 details and 8- when holding opponents to 80 details or reduced.

Rutgers, which has the 17th most successful offense in the place (1.12 PPP) and sales opportunities the Big 10 in a few-position shooting in convention enjoy (44.7%), has the firepower to not just hold up, but get in a shootout.

Can Scarlet Knights prevent Luka Garza, nation’s most effective participant? They may not have to.

“How do you guard him?” head mentor Steve Pikiell asked in reaction to a dilemma about Iowa’s National Participant of the Yr prospect.

The answer identified in the Hawkeyes’ losses? You really don’t make it the priority.

Garza, who leads the nation in scoring (27.7 details per match), shoots 48.6% on threes and attracts 7.5 fouls for every 40 minutes, is a juggernaut. He is heading to get his.

The crucial for any group struggling with the Hawkeyes is not letting these about him to get in a groove with him.

Here’s his put together stats in Iowa’s two losses this season in opposition to Gonzaga and Minnesota: 62 details on 23-of-38 shooting (60.5%) and 27 rebounds. It was two of his very best performances of the period, but it was not plenty of to drive the Hawkeyes to a acquire. Why? Since his teammates shot a combined 13-of-45 (27%) on threes, 10 share points down below their season normal of 37.2%.

This does not suggest the Scarlet Knights should participate in smooth on Garza, but it is extremely hard to consider absent every little thing against the prime offense in the nation. Concentrating on defending the 3-issue line and maintaining the Hawkeyes from finding hot on threes is the smarter alternative to throwing double teams at Garza and leaving shooters like CJ Fredrick (55%), Joe Wieskamp (42%) and Jordan Bohannon (42% in previous 3 online games) open on the perimeter.

How healthier is Rutgers?

The injury bug strike the Scarlet Knights difficult so considerably this year. They’ve been down at minimum a person player in each of their very first eight online games, which include two starters (junior ahead Ron Harper Jr. and freshman center Cliff Omoruyi) in Tuesday’s win above Purdue. Both of them returning for Saturday’s match would be significant for Rutgers.

The return of Harper, who missed the match in opposition to the Boilermakers with a sprained ankle, would be a enormous boost for the Scarlet Knights. He averaged 24 points on 67.5% shooting (25-of-37), which includes a 55% clip on a few-pointers, in 3 job games in opposition to the Hawkeyes. Harper leads Rutgers in scoring this time with 23.7 factors for each video game.

Iowa has defensive flaws to exploit

The Hawkeyes are witnessed as a single of the very best groups in the place due to their elite offense, but their protection (.96.7 PPP, 94th nationally/73.9 PPG, 12th in Major 10) leaves substantially to be sought after.

As very good as Garza is offensively, he can be just as major a legal responsibility on the defensive conclusion. He struggles mightily on pick-and-roll protection and on the perimeter. Iowa as a workforce does not defend the a few-place line extremely effectively either: opponents are shooting 35% on threes when getting 38% of their photographs from 3-level variety.

A clean activity

Neither crew is heading to defeat alone.

The Hawkeyes seldom switch the ball in excess of they rank 1st nationally in help-to-turnover ratio (2.29), second in non-steal turnover share (5.5% of belongings) and 16th in turnover margin (+5.6 per match). Rutgers (5th in non-steal turnover percentage, 24th in aid-to-turnover ratio) does not lag significantly driving. Anticipate a thoroughly clean sport.

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Brian Fonseca may possibly be achieved at [email protected].

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