Rutgers vs Houston Prediction
Rutgers Vs Houston Prediction
The Scarlet Knights and Houston will meet in the second round of the NCAA Tournament Midwest Regional, with Rutgers having topped Clemson for its first tournament win since 1983. Rutgers vs Houston Prediction
Both teams have been very good this season, with Houston winning double-digit conference games in back-to-back seasons for the first time since joining the Big Ten and Rutgers finishing NET and KenPom in the top 40 nationally. However, the difference in the strength of the schedule between these two teams is striking.
Rutgers’ defense has always been its strongest suit and the Cougars have hardly tested it this season. That has allowed them to clinch the top spot in the AAC with an unbeaten record.
The biggest challenge will be how Rutgers manages the interior. The Cougars have a good perimeter defense but it will be tough to contain Rutgers inside if it can’t get the ball in transition. The Scarlet Knights will need Montez Mathis to take advantage of the space around him and give him multiple options in transition.
Ron Harper Jr is a key player for Rutgers and he will need to be aggressing in attacking the rim, looking to hit threes, and providing some extra help on the glass. He should also try to find opportunities in the painting for others, especially Geo Baker and Jacob Young.
Johnson is another major factor for Rutgers and he must stay on the court and out of foul trouble to be effective in this game. He will be key in helping Rutgers win the rebounding battle and must also provide defensive pressure.
Jarreau is another key player for Houston and he hasn’t been 100% since Friday’s first-round win over Cleveland State, but head coach Kelvin Sampson said on Sunday that he will “give him a go” against Rutgers. If he isn’t available, backup Tramon Mark will have to step up.
Injuries for Rutgers and Houston
Both teams will have a lot of question marks on the floor, particularly with DeJon Jarreau (hip pointer injury) and Myles Johnson (ankle injury) out for the season. The absence of these players would have a huge impact on the game.
On the other hand, the Cougars will have a number of key players that should be ready to perform at their best. In addition to Marcus Sasser, who has been electric this season and will be a major focal point in this game, guard DeJon Grimes will be key for them on the offensive end.
The Cougars have been very stingy on the glass this year, winning it by an average of plus-9 and having an offensive-rebounding margin of +8. They aren’t very good shooters on the offensive end, but they have a knack for getting second chances and scoring from there.
If the Scarlet Knights play to their potential, they should be able to defeat this team by double digits. Their shooting will need to be better than it was against Clemson and their defense will need to hold up a bit more. They are a bit weaker than the Cougars in some areas and will need to find ways to attack the rim and make shots on both ends of the floor.