Rutgers announces 1st sellout of season

Before the Rutgers men’s basketball team tips off against Bryant, a member of the Northeast Conference, it will have already sold out one game this season.

The Scarlet Knights announced that individual tickets for their game against Seton Hall on Dec. 14 has reached it limit. The Pirates are ranked inside the AP Top 25 Preseason Poll, at 12th, and will start the season at that ranking.

Last year, in head coach Steve Pikiell’s third season on the Banks, Rutgers sold out five of its games, the most since it secured seven as members of the Big East during the 2004-05 season.

The Knights, who are in their sixth season in the Big Ten, are ranked as the 63rd team in the KenPom rankings, created by journalist Ken Pomeroy, and are compiled of offensive and defensive efficiencies. The ranking fluctuates as the season wanes on, depending on a team’s performance.

When in-state rival Seton Hall comes from South Orange, New Jersey, to the Rutgers Athletic Center (RAC), Rutgers will have a significant home court advantage. The last time these two teams met on the Livingston campus, the Knights upset the Pirates, who were ranked three spots lower, 71-65. In that game, former guard Corey Sanders’s 22 points powered Rutgers to the upset.

Last season at the Prudential Center, Seton Hall and the New Jersey Devils’ fortress, the result was a little different except for one thing: The Knights came back down 9 at halftime, scoring 41 points in the second half. But, the Pirates went on to win 72-66 in a game where preseason All-American honoree Myles Powell scored only 3 points on an 8-of-17 shooting night. Alumnus center Shaquille Doorson led Rutgers with 12 points.

Historically, Seton Hall, who has appeared in the NCAA Tournament for the past four years, has controlled the series, taking 23 of the 38 contests. In Piscataway, the Pirates are 10-8. The last 10 meetings have seen six Seton Hall wins.

The Knights bring in a different looking team for the battle of New Jersey. New transfers in junior guard Jacob Young (Texas) and graduate student forward Akwasi Yeboah (Stony Brook) bring in veteran experience, while true freshman guard and ESPN Top 100 recruit Paul Mulcahy is a top passer and shooter.

For updates on the Rutgers men's basketball team, follow @TargumSports on Twitter.

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