[8:30 PM] Rutgers @ DePaul

Who will WIN this matchup?

Rutgers Scarlet Knights (2-0)

@ DePaul Blue Demons (1-0)


Steve Pikiell looks to become the first Rutgers coach to start his tenure at 3-0 in more than 70 years when the Scarlet Knights head to Chicago to take on host DePaul on Thursday as part of the Gavitt Games. The Scarlet Knights dispatched Molloy and Drexel with relative ease to give their new coach a chance to match Donald S. White, who opened 3-0 in 1945-46.

Eli Cain followed up his solid freshman campaign with 21 points in DePaul’s season-opening victory over Robert Morris, but coach Dave Leitao will expect better. The Blue Demons were outrebounded nearly 2-1 on the offensive glass and had more turnovers than assists, a trend that cannot continue if they hope to post their first winning season since 2006-07.

Judging by his performance so far which includes a pair of double-doubles, Rutgers junior Deshawn Freeman is looking to make up for lost time. Freeman, a 6-7 forward, started last season strong by averaging 13.1 points and 5.3 rebounds, but missed the final 27 games after being suspended by Jordan for an inability of meet team requirements. Freeman, Gettys and sophomore Jonathan Laurent have combined to shoot 60.4 percent this season, which is welcome news for a program that struggled in that department in recent seasons.

Leitao, who went 58-34 in his first stint with DePaul from 2002-2005, used only nine players in the opening win and seven of them contributed significant minutes. After Cain, Tre’Darius McCallum was probably the most active player, leading the Blue Demons with eight rebounds and six assists. Billy Garrett, Jr., who averaged 12 points or better in each of his first three seasons, had 10 points to begin his final year but struggled with his shot, which has been the case throughout his career as he’s never shot 40 percent in a season.

The Scarlet Knights own a 6-4 edge in the series, which has seen all 10 games played between 2005-06 and 2012-13.


StreakSmarts Pick: Rutgers Scarlet Knights

Confidence: 4/10

StreakSmarter Pick