Rutgers and Indiana both ranked entering Tuesday’s showdown
As if the second meeting of the season between the Scarlet Knights and Hoosiers didn’t have enough intrigue already, more was added on Monday. Both teams will be ranked for Tuesday’s showdown in Bloomington.
In the latest AP poll released on Monday, Indiana moved up from No. 21 last week to No. 18 this week. While they lost at Maryland, they recovered to beat No. 1 Purdue at home on Saturday night. The Boilermakers lost for just the second time and remain in the top spot of the polls. Of course, their first loss was handed out by Rutgers at Mackey Arena. It remains the most impressive win in college basketball this season.
As for the Scarlet Knights, they re-enter the Top 25 at No. 24 this week after winning their last two games. They were included in the AP Poll for the first time this season in January after beating Northwestern and Ohio State back to back. RU was No. 21 then but lost their lone game the following week at Michigan State.
As for Big Ten implications, Rutgers is in sole possession of second place with an 8-4 league record. Indiana is one game behind in a six way tie for third place with a 7-5 record. The Scarlet Knights will also travel to 7-5 Illinois on Saturday, who are receiving votes.
Assembly Hall should be an electric environment on Tuesday night. RU has beaten the Hoosiers in eight of the last nine meetings between the two programs. The Scarlet Knights have won six in a row including a dominant 63-48 victory at the RAC on December 3.
After falling to 1-4 to begin league play, the preseason favorite Hoosiers have now won six of their last seven conference games. Rutgers has won five of their last seven including Saturday’s come from behind victory over Michigan State.
Injuries are a question for Tuesday’s matchup. Indiana has been without point guard Xavier Johnson for an extended period but he may return against Rutgers. As for Steve Pikiell’s team, the status of Mawot Mag has not been announced formally. Mag injured his knee in the first half against the Spartans and did not return. He was wearing a brace of some kind on his leg on the bench. Pikiell did say to Bruce Beck in an interview on Sunday night that the junior “is going to be out for a bit.”
It’s a huge game for both programs. Indiana obviously wants to finally breakthrough after Rutgers has dominated the series for the past five years.
#Indiana’s Trayce Jackson-Davis after defeating No. 1 #Purdue yesterday.
“We’ve played with a chip on our shoulder since we got punked by Rutgers earlier in the year.”#RU plays #IU on Tuesday at 6:30pm pic.twitter.com/4Ba7xgEzxd
— Rutgers Scarlet Knights | TheKnightReport.Net (@RutgersRivals) February 5, 2023
To clarify any misunderstandings, this is Jackson-Davis showing respect. Rutgers made them realize they needed to be tougher and it turned their season around. The Hoosiers will be ready for the rematch, that’s for sure. The idea that they will be hung over after beating No. 1 Purdue, their rival, seems unlikely. However, RU has the confidence of winning last year in Bloomington with many key contributors returning. If their elite defense travels on Tuesday, they can come out with another victory.
I’ll have more to come on this high profile matchup ahead of Tuesday night’s 6:30 p.m. ET tip-off (BTN).
Thanks for reading the The Scarlet Faithful. For more Rutgers Athletics content from The Scarlet Faithful, follow us on Twitter and Instagram. You can also subscribe to our YouTube Channel. You can subscribe to The Scarlet Faithful podcast on Apple, Spotify, Pocket Casts and anywhere else you listen to podcasts. For advertising inquiries or to reach out directly, email at firstname.lastname@example.org
February 6, 2023 at 6:38 pm
It really sucks that Mags will be out for the Indiana game, and likely at least the Illinois game.
February 6, 2023 at 10:20 pm
This is especially tough for the Indiana game because he is one of the difference makers for us in that particular matchup. He is able to neutralize Race Thompson as well as Reneau (not sure I’m spelling the highly touted lefty big correctly) if they play him next to TJD. He’s also a key rebounder for us, obviously. If we can’t finish good defensive stops with a defensive rebound, things get can very difficult. Can Reiber/Palmquist/Woolfolk gobble up Mag’s minutes. Woolf is so ridiculously quick that he might be real effective at the head of our press. I can see Oskar doing this decently too but nobody is as good as Mag so there will be a drop-off. Hoping Oskar and Reiber can knock down a few triples to ease the blow of not having Mag. Going to be tough either way.
February 7, 2023 at 12:03 am
I really, really hope that this game plays out differently than what I think is likely. The opening 5-7 minutes will be more important than normal since IU will certainly come out fired up, as will the crowd. My concern is that role players like Woolfork, Reiber, and Palmquist typically fare much better at home than on the road and that, as others have said, RU will miss Mag very much in this matchup. I’m certainly not suggesting that RU can’t win. Pikiell will have them ready and it’s certainly possible that Mulcahy simply continues his aggressive approach and that Cam has a great shooting night. Cliff HAS to stay out of foul trouble and Hyatt needs to play well. Hopefully, we don’t get a tight whistle and shots are falling. Go RU!
February 7, 2023 at 4:27 am
Can’t say that I like this match up without Mag. He’s been coming on this season offensively and has shown the ability to score inside and outside most recently. If you recall, PM came on offensively late last season to spark the offense. We really need him to get and stay in a more offensive scoring mindset because, when he does, it opens up scoring opportunities for others as well. That assumes the other players space themselves properly & make timely back cuts to the basket or make themselves available to catch & shoot step in 3s. Please, PM, stay offensive minded against IN! I’m not expecting a win but with Rutgers’ defense…..
February 7, 2023 at 5:41 am
OT: I was watching the Golden State Warriors blow out the Oklahoma City Thunder tonight and our old friend Eugene Omoruyi came in for garbage time. The announcers said he played at Rutgers and one year at Oregon.