Carter-less Rutgers Travels to Villanova

Rutgers returns to action tonight after losing Elijah Carter to a fractured fibula in a 75-69 loss to DePaul. The Scarlet Knights are approaching "must win" territory for the rest of the regular season with the chance to break a seven-year postseason drought in jeopardy.

Two days after losing leading scorer Elijah Carter for the season, Rutgers will be back on the court for a Monday night clash with Villanova. The Wildcats take the court tonight on a major hot streak, beating No. 5 Louisville, No. 3 Syracuse and Connecticut in the last month.

On the other side, Rutgers has eight losses in its last 10 games and will have to replace Carter's 14.9 points per game on short rest.

With Carter out for the year, Rutgers will turn to fellow sophomore Myles Mack even more. Mack and Seagears both surpassed 30 minutes with Carter out against DePaul and can expect more of the same for the rest of the season.

Mack showed he can step up as a scorer, dropping a career-high 28 points on 11-of-19 shooting against the Blue Demons. The big question, however, is how much that scoring can be sustained as the minutes pile up.

Carter's injury took place with 15:36 left in the game. After an initial slump without Carter, Rutgers tied the game with a 16-4 run. In the final 15:36, Rutgers and DePaul each scored 31 points.

Though the pressure now falls on Mack and Seagears to run the offense.

Rutgers (13-11, 4-9) will also have to play juniors Mike Poole and Vincent Garrett at the two-guard position to rest Mack and Seagears, especially against three-guard lineups like Villanova. Along with his 14.9 points per game, Carter was crucial in defending opposing team's top perimeter threat.

Inside the Numbers

7 -- After eight straight games on the bench, Vincent Garrett played seven minutes in the last four games and can expect increased time moving forward.

11 -- Myles Mack scored 11 of the Scarlet Knights' 29 points following Carter's injury against DePaul. With Carter out, Mack is the only active player averaging double-digit points.

11.6 -- Villanova guard Ryan Arcidiacono averages 11.6 points per game for the Wildcats as a freshman and scored 25 in Saturday's win over Connecticut. Arcidiacono is the cousin for Rutgers football freshman Brandon Arcidiacono and class of 2013 recruit Nick Arcidiacono.

13.5 -- Since Jonathan Mitchell's "two-minute miracle" in 2011, Villanova has outscored Rutgers by 13.5 points per game. In last year's loss in the Big East tournament, Eli Carter was the only Rutgers player to exceed seven points.

45.2 -- Jerome Seagears is the best in the Big East with a 45.2 percent shooting clip from long range in conference games.


Scarlet Report Top Stories