Can Scarlet Knights stop Luka Garza, nation’s greatest offense?

1 of the most significant games of the Massive 10 basketball season — and in modern Rutgers basketball background — will take put in Piscataway this Saturday.

The No. 14 Scarlet Knights hosts No. 10 Iowa at the Rutgers Athletic Heart (2 p.m., ESPN2) in the ninth rated-on-rated matchup in method record. Rutgers is 3-5 in that predicament, with an -2 report in meetings concerning major-15 groups. The Scarlet Knights are 1-1 in ranked matchups this time, defeating then-No. 13 Illinois at the RAC but falling to then-No. 23 Ohio Condition in Columbus.

A earn would continue to keep Rutgers at the top rated of the Huge Ten standings, wherever it now stands in a 5-way tie for initial place with the Illini, Michigan, Northwestern and Wisconsin. It would also mark the Scarlet Knights’ 2nd win in excess of a Massive Ten title contender (Iowa was picked to complete second in the league’s preseason media poll), more proving the Scarlet Knights belong amid the conference’s elite this period.

Right here are 5 issues to watch for in the monster matchup:

Be expecting a slugfest

The Hawkeyes arrive into Piscataway with the most economical offense in the country, for each KenPom, averaging 1.22 details for every possession. That interprets to 94.3 factors per game, the major scoring average in the Huge Ten and fourth very best in the nation. As efficient as Rutgers’ protection is (.915 PPP, 24th nationally), the Scarlet Knights are probably in for a long afternoon on that close of the flooring.

The Scarlet Knights will require to maintain tempo with Iowa offensively in a sport very likely to split into the 80 1/4 u2032s, a essential region teams want to get the Hawkeyes into. Iowa is -2 when conceding a lot more than 80 details and 8- when keeping opponents to 80 factors or reduce.

Rutgers, which has the 17th most economical offense in the nation (1.12 PPP) and prospects the Major 10 in a few-position capturing in convention play (44.7%), has the firepower to not just hold up, but gain in a shootout.

Can Scarlet Knights cease Luka Garza, nation’s best participant? They may not have to.

“How do you guard him?” head mentor Steve Pikiell requested in reaction to a problem about Iowa’s Nationwide Participant of the Year prospect.

The solution uncovered in the Hawkeyes’ losses? You never make it the priority.

Garza, who leads the country in scoring (27.7 points per recreation), shoots 48.6% on threes and attracts 7.5 fouls per 40 minutes, is a juggernaut. He is likely to get his.

The crucial for any group going through the Hawkeyes is not letting all those all over him to get in a groove with him.

Here’s his put together stats in Iowa’s two losses this time versus Gonzaga and Minnesota: 62 details on 23-of-38 taking pictures (60.5%) and 27 rebounds. It was two of his best performances of the season, but it was not ample to drive the Hawkeyes to a win. Why? Simply because his teammates shot a merged 13-of-45 (27%) on threes, 10 percentage points below their year regular of 37.2%.

This does not indicate the Scarlet Knights need to participate in delicate on Garza, but it is impossible to consider away anything in opposition to the top rated offense in the region. Focusing on defending the a few-level line and keeping the Hawkeyes from having very hot on threes is the smarter choice to throwing double groups at Garza and leaving shooters like CJ Fredrick (55%), Joe Wieskamp (42%) and Jordan Bohannon (42% in very last a few game titles) open up on the perimeter.

How wholesome is Rutgers?

The injury bug strike the Scarlet Knights tricky so far this season. They’ve been down at the very least a person player in just about every of their initially 8 video games, together with two starters (junior forward Ron Harper Jr. and freshman heart Cliff Omoruyi) in Tuesday’s gain more than Purdue. Possibly of them returning for Saturday’s activity would be significant for Rutgers.

The return of Harper, who missed the game against the Boilermakers with a sprained ankle, would be a large enhance for the Scarlet Knights. He averaged 24 details on 67.5% taking pictures (25-of-37), which includes a 55% clip on a few-tips, in a few vocation game titles from the Hawkeyes. Harper sales opportunities Rutgers in scoring this period with 23.7 factors for each match.

Iowa has defensive flaws to exploit

The Hawkeyes are witnessed as one of the greatest groups in the state owing to their elite offense, but their defense (.96.7 PPP, 94th nationally/73.9 PPG, 12th in Major Ten) leaves much to be ideal.

As good as Garza is offensively, he can be just as large a liability on the defensive finish. He struggles mightily on select-and-roll protection and on the perimeter. Iowa as a team does not defend the a few-stage line very very well both: opponents are shooting 35% on threes while using 38% of their shots from 3-stage array.

A clear recreation

Neither staff is likely to beat alone.

The Hawkeyes seldom convert the ball about they rank 1st nationally in support-to-turnover ratio (2.29), 2nd in non-steal turnover proportion (5.5% of belongings) and 16th in turnover margin (+5.6 for each match). Rutgers (5th in non-steal turnover percentage, 24th in assist-to-turnover ratio) does not lag much guiding. Count on a clean up activity.

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Brian Fonseca may be achieved at [email protected].

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