The Scarlet Knights saw a drop in the AP poll this week after losing a tightly contested matchup against the Iowa Hawkeyes. They will look to bounce back and gain another win in the competitive Big Ten.
Fixture: Rutgers Scarlet Knights vs Michigan State Spartans - NCAA Men's Basketball
Date & Time: Tuesday, January 5th, 2021, 9 PM ET
Venue: Breslin Student Events Center, East Lansing, Michigan
Rutgers Scarlet Knight Preview
The new year did not start the way the Rutgers Scarlet Knights would have liked, as they suffered a 77-75 loss to the Iowa Hawkeyes.
The Scarlet Knight only have themselves to blame for the loss. They converted just 4 of 12 from the charity stripe and have been struggling all season from the free-throw line with a low 62%.
Here is what guard, Ron Harper Jr., had to say on his team's poor free-throw shooting after the game:
"Four of 12 from the foul line, that's just unacceptable. We're not going to win a lot of basketball games like that."
Against a team like the Michigan State Spartans, every basket matters. The Rutgers Scarlet Knights will need to improve their foul shooting, or they will lose another close outing as they did against the Hawkeyes.
Key Player - Ron Harper Jr.
Ron Harper Jr. is the key player for the Rutgers Scarlet Knights against the Michigan State Spartans. The junior guard is leading the team with 22 points per game on 53.6% shooting. Harper Jr.'s play this season has him projected to make the All-Big Ten team.
If the Scarlet Knights can continue to get great play out of Ron Harper, they will come away with a win against the Michigan State Spartans.
Rutgers Scarlet Knights Predicted Lineup
C Myles Johnson, G Jacob Young, G Geo Baker, G Montez Mathis, G Ron Harper Jr
Michigan State Spartans Preview
The Michigan State Spartans started 2021 with a win against Nebraska 84-77 on Saturday. The win broke a three-game losing streak for the Spartans as they are 7-3 on the season.
The Spartans were able to snap their cold streak from the field and shoot 51.8% against the Cornhuskers. In the three consecutive losses the Spartans had, they were shooting at 37.3%.
If the Michigan State Spartans can focus on scoring easy baskets in the paint against the Rutgers Scarlet Knights, who play with four guards, the Spartans will win this game.
Key Player - Aaron Henry
The key player for the Michigan State Spartans is Aaron Henry. The junior guard put up 27 points in the previous game on 62.5% shooting.
If Henry can maintain his offensive efficiency and get his other teammates involved on the floor, the Spartans will be able to get back on track in the Big Ten and beat the Rutgers Scarlet Knights.
Michigan State Spartans Predicted Lineup
F Thomas Kithier, F A.J. Hoggard, C Joey Hauser, G Joshua Langford, G Aaron Henry
Rutgers vs Michigan State Prediction
The Michigan State Spartans will upset the Rutgers Scarlet Knights on Tuesday. The Spartans are better than what they showed during their three-game losing streak. Look for them to be efficient from the floor and control the paint.
Where to watch Rutgers vs Michigan State
The game will be broadcast live on ESPN2.
Published 05 Jan 2021, 13:44 IST