Rutgers prepares for 3rd home game against Drexel
The Rutgers men’s basketball team is looking to get its third win in a week’s span when Drexel comes to town. The Scarlet Knights (2-0), are coming off two strong performances, most recently a 47-point win against Niagara. The last matchup before a road trip to Ontario, Canada, Rutgers looks to capitalize on the Dragons (2-1) and win its third game in a row.
Drexel will be a familiar face for many of the returning players on the Knights’ roster. The Dragons and Rutgers faced off last November. That matchup resulted in the Knights’ blowout win, 95-66.
Rutgers will be ready to take on Drexel's one-two punch of forwards in T.J. Bickerstaff and James Butler. Both of them lead their team in double digits over the past three games.
Most notably, Butler had 22 points in a single digit win against the Purple Eagles. It’s good to note that the same team the Knights blew out on Sunday (Niagara), the Dragons slid away with a sneaky victory over them.
Ahead of the game, keep an eye out for players like true freshman guard Paul Mulcahy, graduate student forward Akwasi Yeboah and junior guard Geo Baker. All three players have stood out in the two previous wins.
Mulcahy has arguably stood out the most. Being the most inexperienced on the college level he has come out making the right plays.
Statistically, when he is on the floor with Rutgers, the team plays better overall. He has posted a plus minus in double digits in two straight games. We will see what the young freshman has in store after stuffing the stat sheet in two big wins.
Yeboah’s presence was felt after a solid performance against the Purple Eagles. Even with the slow start to the season against Bryant, the transfer showed his poise by not letting his poor shooting performance follow him into the matchup against the Purple Eagles.
Being a great addition to this experienced team, his leadership will only be an asset to head coach Steve Pikiell and company. The best basketball players have short-term memory. They forget about the play before and keep playing their brand of ball. This is something that has stood out when watching Yeboah play.
Baker has been the pleasant surprise for Pikiell and the Knights. After averaging approximately 12 points per game last season, he has stepped up these past two games for Rutgers and is the teams leading scorer, averaging 14.5 points and 5.5 rebounds per game.
Being the experienced player he is, he can be a crucial piece for giving the team a bucket-getter down the stretch. In college basketball, finding someone to get you a bucket in the final minutes of play is do or die. Even though the season is young, Baker has shown to have potential to be that guy for the Knights.
Winning a third game in a row can really boost team morale going into a road trip. Pikiell is looking to lead his men in the right direction after their historical win over Niagara. Rutgers take on Drexel on Wednesday, November 13th at 8 p.m. at the Rutgers Athletic Center (RAC).
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