Noon at Rutgers • Big Ten Network, 100.3 FM
Scarlet Knights not patsy anymore
Preview: There were signs last season that Rutgers coach Steve Pikiell might be close to turning the program around. After finishing last in the Big Ten in four consecutive seasons (two under Pikiell), the Scarlet Knights had their best record since joining the Big Ten at 7-13 in 2018-19. Rutgers (13-4, 4-2) can match last season’s overall victory total Sunday by beating the Gophers (10-7, 4-3). Pikiell’s team is undefeated (12-0) at the RAC this season, including victories over Wisconsin, Seton Hall and Penn State. The Gophers are 2-11 in true road games in the Big Ten over the past two seasons.
Players to watch: Gophers sophomore guard Gabe Kalscheur seems due for a breakout game. He’s averaging only 5.2 points on 16.7% three-point shooting (4-for-24) in the past four games. Kalscheur, who averages 11.9 points, had 21 points on 6-for-6 shooting from three in a 68-64 loss at Rutgers last season. Scarlet Knights junior guard Geo Baker returned from injury to have seven points, four assists and two steals in Wednesday’s 59-50 victory over Indiana. Baker, who ranks second on the team in scoring (11.2) and first in both assists (4.0) and steals (1.8), missed three games because of a broken thumb.
Numbers: Rutgers (No. 8 seed) and Minnesota (No. 12) were among 12 Big Ten teams included in ESPN bracket expert Joe Lunardi’s NCAA tournament projections Friday. The Scarlet Knights haven’t made the NCAA tourney since 1991.