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Guard Corey Sanders rises up for a midrange jump shot when the Terps played Rutgers on Jan. 24, 2017 at Xfinity Center. (Christian Jenkins/For The Diamondback)
1/25/2017 4:37pm

Familiar issues come back to bite Rutgers in loss to No. 22 Maryland

COLLEGE PARK, Md. — Asked about what he has learned about his team a third into the Big Ten schedule and midway through his first season with the program, Rutgers head men’s basketball coach Steve Pikiell didn’t beat around the bush. “We’re consistently inconsistent,” he said, referencing the need for his players to play their best on a nightly basis. There is one thing the Scarlet Knights have done on a regular basis even before he arrived in Piscataway, but it's not positive — they haven't won a Big Ten road game since joining the conference three years ago. With former Major League baseball player Cal Ripken Jr., the king of sports consistency himself, watching from the front row of a sold-out Xfinity Center, Rutgers saw that streak extend to 23 games, suffering a 67-55 loss to No. 22 Maryland on Tuesday night. And it was lackluster free throw shooting, an issue the Knights have struggled with all season, that plagued them.

Sophomore guard Corey Sanders will need to replicate the production he had against Nebraska on both ends of the floor in order for Rutgers to earn its first Big Ten road win against No. 25 Maryland Tuesday.
1/24/2017 1:46pm

On heels of dramatic victory, Rutgers travels to College Park in pursuit of first Big Ten road win

The Rutgers men’s basketball team is faced with its toughest stretch of games of the season in the next week, with a trip to College Park, Maryland on Tuesday to take on No. 22 Maryland up next and a meeting with No. 15 Wisconsin Saturday at Madison Square Garden. The task is made harder by the fact the Scarlet Knights (12-6, 1-6) have just two days to prepare for the top team in the Big Ten.  “It just lets us know that what we’ve been doing all year has been paying off,” said junior guard Nigel Johnson, after the team broke through and earned its first conference win of the against Nebraska on Saturday.


Sophomore guard Corey Sanders brings the ball up the court in transition for Rutgers in the second half of Rutgers 66-65 win over Nebraska Saturday. Sanders hit a go-ahead putback with a second remaining to give Rutgers its first Big Ten win of the season and the first of Pikiell's tenure in Piscataway.
1/22/2017 7:39pm

Rutgers earns first Big Ten win of Pikiell era in dramatic fashion over Nebraska

Steve Pikiell is not one to waver and never one to hit the panic button. Even in the midst of a seven-game losing streak, the head coach of the Rutgers men’s basketball team remained optimistic, kept to his belief that the team was getting better and that it was getting closer to where he wanted it to be with each passing day. All the Scarlet Knights needed to get their first Big Ten win of the season, he said, was to play a full 40 minutes.

Steve Pikiell's faith in his team has never waivered, even in the midst of a current 7-game losing skid. The first-year head coach of the Rutgers men's basketball team continues to see improvement, hoping it will eventually amount to his first Big Ten win. His next opportunity to earn it will be Saturday when the Knights host Nebraska at noon.
2/12/2017 4:04pm

After longest break of season, Rutgers hosts Nebraska

The last time the Rutgers men’s basketball team faced Nebraska, it saw its both its season and an era come to an end. An 89-72 loss to the Cornhuskers in the first round of last season’s Big Ten Tournament marked the end of Eddie Jordan’s three-year return to Piscataway to serve as the head coach of his alma mater, where he shone as a leader in the Scarlet Knights’ greatest ever season in 1976. Fast forward 325 days, the Knights host Nebraska Saturday at noon in the same venue they suffered a 90-56 blowout to the Huskers a little more than a year ago in what was the fourth loss of a program-record 17 game skid.

Junior forward Deshawn Freeman looked like the dominant player he was in non-conference play in Rutgers against Iowa last Sunday, nabbing his seventh double-double of the season in a loss to the Hawkeyes. The Knights will need a similar performance from their captain in order to break a four-game losing streak when they host Northwestern Thursday night.
1/12/2017 1:15am

Rutgers hosts Northwestern with hopes of ending skid, continuing progress

The Rutgers men’s basketball team dropped the first four contests of its Big Ten schedule, a contrast from a non-conference slate that brought hope back to the program’s fans as stark as the difference in talent level between the two parts of the season. The Scarlet Knights jumped from cruising the second-weakest schedule in non-conference play according to analytical website for the most part to diving into an onslaught of obstacles and picking up results they’ve become all too familiar with over the past two years. But while they’ve gone 0-4 through their first four Big Ten games and failed to win their first ever Big Ten road game in three opportunities, the Knights have shown the ability to bounce back and remain resilient in the first true wave of adversity they’ve faced under head coach Steve Pikiell. “We’re playing an awfully tough schedule,” the first-year head coach said before practice on Tuesday.

Junior guard Mike Williams was named a co-captain of the Rutgers men's basketball team by head coach Steve Pikiell Wednesday afternoon. He's thrived in his role as the Scarlet Knights' sixth man this season, one he volunteered for early in the year.
1/11/2017 4:54pm

Steve Pikiell names Mike Williams as Rutgers co-captain

Mike Williams has been praised by teammates and first-year head coach Steve Pikiell all throughout the process of his solid season, but Wednesday marked the biggest endorsement he’s received to date as he was named a co-captain of the Scarlet Knights, joining fellow junior Deshawn Freeman as the official leaders of the team.

Junior guard Mike Williams had a team-high 16 points, but also shot 3-for-10 from beyond the arc as Rutgers fell to Penn State 60-47 in its first home loss of the season.
1/2/2017 6:32pm

Rutgers falls to Penn State in first home loss of season, third straight overall

It was the beginning of a new year on Sunday, a day which also appeared to continue the trend of a new era for the Rutgers men’s basketball team. With Penn State, an equally young team looking to climb up the ranks of the Big Ten, visiting the Rutgers Athletic Center, it was the first real chance for the Scarlet Knights to see where they measure with teams in a similar spot, as well as how far they’ve come from a truly disastrous campaign a year ago. For the first 10 minutes, it seemed the Knights left the demons of their first two seasons in the Big Ten behind in 2016.

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