Saturday, July 22, 2023

Rutgers Men's Basketball 2023-24 Non-Conference Opponents


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The non-conference opponents have recently been announced for the Rutgers Men's Basketball 2023-24 schedule. Only three opponents, including Boston, Howard, and Stonehill, have dates to be determined. The official release from the program will be announced soon.

Last year's NET Rankings are in the parenthesis along with each quadrant they fall in.

Nov. 6, vs Princeton (91, Q2)
Nov. 12, Bryant (208, Q4)
Nov. 15, Georgetown (219, Q4)
Nov. 27, St. Peter's (308, Q4)
Dec. 6, at Wake Forest (86, Q2)
Dec. 9, at Seton Hall (77, Q2)
Dec. 16, Long Island (363, Q4)
Dec. 23, vs Mississippi State (53, Q2)
TBD, Stonehill (331, Q4)
Nov. TBD, Howard (218, Q4)
Nov. TBD, Boston Univ. (266, Q4)

"Can't wait til tip-off": Rutgers poised to finally play Princeton again

Insider Richard Kent has the scoop on the Rutgers-Princeton rivalry set to continue on November 6th at CURE Insurance Arena in Trenton, NJ. Richard has been a big advocate for both rivals to meet on the hardwood after former Rutgers head coach Eddie Jordan killed the series in 2013. Check out his featured article on Ivy Hoops Online.

Missing a decade of games is a long time for the Rutgers-Princeton basketball rivalry.

The series began in 1917 and has resulted in 120 games played, many of them memorable.

Separated by only 15 miles and both original colonial colleges, played virtually every year and sometimes twice a year from 1917 until 2013, when new Rutgers basketball coach Eddie Jordan put the games on hiatus. Continue reading his article on Ivy Hoops Online

Wednesday, July 5, 2023

Rutgers-Princeton hoops rivalry close to resuming

photo courtesy of SuperTailGate

One of New Jersey's most historic and important college basketball rivalries is almost set to return, and it's a game every Rutgers and Princeton fan cannot wait to see.

by Richard Kent & Mark Remsa

Rutgers Hoops Insider contributors Richard Kent & Mark Remsa discuss the importance of Rutgers and Princeton restoring their classic rivalry. Richard Kent also shared his Top 5 games in the long-time storied rivalry.

As the 2023-24 non-conference schedule comes to fruition for Rutgers men’s basketball, there is one game on the docket that stands out and should capture every Rutgers fan’s intrigue, and that’s the potential meeting with Princeton.

According to Jerry Carino [of the Asbury Park Press] and The D1 Docket, Rutgers and Princeton are currently in 'serious talks' and finalizing contracts to play each other in their season openers on November 6th at CURE Insurance Arena in Trenton. The game in Trenton marks the 4th time ever in the series both teams would play one another on a neutral floor.

It’s been ten long years since the Scarlet Knights and the Tigers last met on the hardwood after former Rutgers head coach Eddie Jordan killed the long-time storied rivalry, an absolute disservice to the New Jersey college hoops community. In Jordan’s first year at the helm during the 2013-14 season, Rutgers dropped a 78-73 decision giving Princeton its 75th victory over the Scarlet Knights. Princeton leads the all-time series 75-45. 

Until this recent announcement, Rutgers head coach Steve Pikiell has chosen not to resume the rivalry for unknown reasons.

In early March, we detailed the importance of the Rutgers-Princeton rivalry and why it was key for head coaches Steve Pikiell and Mitch Henderson to make it happen for the upcoming season.

It was reported by Jerry Carino, since becoming the head coach in 2016, Steve Pikiell recalled how many teams used to reach out to him to schedule Rutgers as they were perceived as an “easy win over a Big Ten non-conference opponent”. But as Rutgers has vastly improved during his tenure, Pikiell said his phone has stopped ringing except Princeton continued to reach out to him.

While Princeton has a sizeable advantage in the series, the potential matchup for the upcoming season will be more important than ever. Not only does it reignite one of the most important college basketball rivalries in New Jersey, but it is an early season matchup that will surely test Rutgers as the defending Ivy League champs are no slouch. A game of this magnitude will give some of the newer faces to Rutgers a taste of the big time. It would also be the first time veterans Cliff Omoruyi and Aundre Hyatt would be part of a storied New Jersey college basketball rivalry other than the annual match up with Seton Hall in the Garden State Hardwood Classic.

Despite losing guard Ryan Langborg to Northwestern in the transfer portal and Tosan Evbuomwan to the NBA, Princeton returns a majority of their roster filled with postseason experience for the upcoming season led by Ivy League Rookie of the Year Caden Pierce, Matt Allocco and U19 Canadian star Xaivian Lee. Princeton is coming off an impressive NCAA Tournament run, which includes a stunning victory over the heavily favored 2-seed Arizona Wildcats and an absolute demolition of the 7-seed Missouri Tigers. Only the red hot 6-seed Creighton Blue Jays could cool off the Tigers in the Sweet 16.

Although the current plan for this season’s potential matchup is a one-time deal, it’s certainly possible the rivalry will continue for the foreseeable future. The idea of scheduling the game at CURE Insurance Arena is consistent with Pikiell’s articulated desire to play neutral site games against top teams.  Not only is the location fantastic for both fan bases, but the highly anticipated matchup will likely sellout and provide an atmosphere CURE Insurance Arena has probably never seen before.

The neutral site affair will possibly be a Quadrant 2 matchup for Rutgers as Princeton is expected to be a Top 100 team within the NET Rankings. If Princeton can snag a win over Rutgers, it would be a resume boosting win for the Tigers as the Scarlet Knights will likely enter the game as a Quadrant 1 opponent.

If the rivalry continues beyond the 2023-24 season, alumni and fans alike are hopeful the series could return to the traditional home-and-home series.

Richard Kent's Top 5 Rutgers Wins Over Princeton

1. March 13, 1976 - Rutgers notched an impressive 54-53 win over Princeton in the NCAA Tournament in Providence, Rhode Island at the Providence Civic Center. Peter Molloy of the Tigers missed the front end of a one-and-one with only seconds remaining in the game as Rutgers coach Tom Young called two consecutive timeouts to ice Molloy from the free-throw line.

2. February 2, 1976 - Rutgers was undefeated and traveled to Jadwin Gym to play the Top 25 ranked Princeton Tigers, who boasted a 12-3 record and were fresh off the heels of a 1975 NIT Championship. A key steal in the second half by Mike Dabney fueled a resounding 75-62 win for the Scarlet Knights.

3. December 13, 1965 - Rutgers made the trip to Princeton's Dillon Gym and were led by Jim Valvano and Bobby Lloyd with a massive 68-66 upset of the undefeated Tigers. The Tigers were led by all-everything Ed Hummer and Gary Walters.

photo courtesy of The Daily Targum

4. December 17, 1968 - Rutgers star and future NBA player Bob Greacen made two free-throws in the last 10 seconds of the game at the old College Avenue Gymnasium to guide Rutgers to a 61-60 upset of another incredible NCAA Tournament bound Princeton squad led by All-American Geoff Petrie.

5. December 13, 2003 - Rutgers upset another NCAA Tournament bound Princeton team 51-49 at The RAC, limiting the Tigers' center Judson Wallace to just five points in front of a season-high home crowd. It marked the 5th straight Rutgers win over their arch rivals.