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Reaction win Rutgers’ 85-63 win over Howard & 4-1 start to season

The Scarlet Knights are improving.



Photo credit Rutgers Athletics

Rutgers men’s basketball defeated Howard 85-63 on Saturday night to improve to 4-1 on the season. Derek Simpson had a career high 23 points on 7 of 10 shooting from the floor. The Scarlet Knights dominated in the paint and in transition while forcing 21 turnovers. Cliff Omoruyi had 15 points, 14 rebounds, 4 blocks, 2 steals and 2 assists. Six different players had multiple assists in the game.

“I’ve been waiting for us. I really think this is an 80 point team,” Rutgers head coach Steve Pikiell said. “I was thankful that they got to that number tonight because we’ve really been missing some shots in other games that we could have made. We’re starting to gel together. I mean, this was a five game stretch. I think we learned a lot about each other and now we have a week to improve and get better. We can figure out our rotation and get better in those areas too. But it starts with good leaders. Aundre, Cliff, Oskar, Mawot. Noah has done a good job too. Our practices have been very good. We need to keep that up and  it shows a mature team. I still think our best basketball is ahead of us too.”

Here is my reaction to the victory as well as the 4-1 start for Rutgers. Topics include improved guard play, offensive development, improved depth, return of injuries to improve rotation, Bryant’s big win and much more. Listen and watch below.



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  1. Henry Rutgers

    November 19, 2023 at 7:45 am

    I’m thrilled to be 4-1. I don’t care if we played Piscataway High School four times. I’d rather be 5-0. I hate losing to Princeton in anything. It was actually a little scarry in the first few minutes when Howard jumped out to a lead but RU settled down, made some runs and showed improvement. The final score is a little deceiving as it was close (single digits) most of the game. The separation came in the last 3-4 minutes. Credit to Howard. They came to win and took risks to get back in the game that RU took advantage of and converted.

    Saint Pete’s will be a tough game. They didn’t roll over for Seton Hall. A let down or looking forward to Big Ten games could be disastrous.

  2. BataliBoli98

    November 20, 2023 at 9:51 pm

    As always, spot on analysis. A few takeaways from the upper deck:
    1) Great crowd! It felt like a conference game.
    2) Howard is a talented offensive team. They went for 80 or more in their first three games and they have shooters. RU’s D did a tremendous job of forcing many possessions to go under 5 seconds on the shot clock.
    3) Pikiell has been asked about the rebounding disparity and he said that when you force a lot of turnovers it takes away from your rebounding total. If you think about it, that makes sense. Still, it should be better and will when Mag returns.
    4) What I like about Palmquist’s game this year is that he doesn’t just hang around the 3-point line. He’s even getting himself to the FT line.
    5) Fernandes is both pesky and savvy when pressing.
    6) Gavin needs is be more selective on his 3-point attempts. At times, it’s almost like his release is too quick. I’d love to see him attack the basket more.
    7) I really hope that Davis stays for 3-4 years. His quickness is a weapon on both ends of the floor.
    Go RU!

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