Campbell Coming Home

PISCATAWAY, N.J. -- Guard D'Von Campbell is excited to get to the scorer's table and check in for a homecoming game Sunday against Houston. Campbell is set for two straight games in his home state of Texas as the Scarlet Knights hit the road.

Rutgers guard D'Von Campbell saw Houston and SMU first hand as a freshman at UTEP, and he expects two serious challenges in the next four days.

Campbell spent his freshman year at UTEP before transferring to a junior college. He enjoyed a 70-50 victory over Houston and a 70-64 victory over SMU that season.

"When I played them at UTEP, we beat them both, but as the years went on they've gotten a lot better," Campbell said. "They're getting better players and better recruits. I guess it's their move to the [American] conference. They're way better than when I played them at UTEP."

Houston (10-7, 2-2) is up first Sunday for the Scarlet Knights with a Tuesday night battle against SMU (12-4, 2-2) and coach Larry Brown.

"When I was watching them on TV, they just look better," Campbell said. "They're more confident. They play hard and stuff like that."

Campbell's family will be in attendance for both games. From Bowie, Texas an hour outside of Dallas, the 5-foot-10 combo guard is excited for his homecoming.

"SMU is close, but Houston is four hours away, but it's great to play in front of my family again," Campbell said. "They're going to come to both because they don't get to see me often. It will be fun to play in front of my family because they're special to me. I'll still prepare the same way and block it out until after."

Rutgers coach Eddie Jordan kept Campbell out of the 85-75 victory over UCF Wednesday night in favor of a surging Jerome Seagears. That will not be the case in Texas.

"I'm not going to disappoint him," Jordan said. "I'm going to put him out there. Look, we're trying to win the game. Obviously, we like our kids to compete and have fun and enjoy this experience. I'm not going to sit him down. I want him to play."

Sitting out is never easy, Campbell said, but being part of a win is more important.

"You have to keep your head in the game mentally, because you don't know when coach is going to go to you," Campbell said. "What I want to do is win – and we won."

The Scarlet Knights (8-9, 2-2) face their first true road swing of the conference schedule, and have eyes on coming back to New Jersey with a winning record.

"To me, I think we're moving uphill," Campbell said. "From the games against Canisius and Drexel and all of them, we're way better than we were against them. That's a good thing. I would rather be not good at the beginning of the year and excellent by the end of the year than the other way. … It's about how you finish. We want to finish strong."

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