Although St Peters (1-2) has been picked to finish tenth in the MAAC, Rutgers will be facing a super athletic and inspired team as they appear in the spruced up Jersey City Armory for the first time in thirty years. Head Coach John Dunne will be fielding a very fast, court quick, athletic team that can fly up and down the court. They play an up tempo style and utilize a very tough, in your face defense. Hes brought in a six member freshman class which he feels will provide St Peters with the luxury of added athleticism and tenacity for his squad. The up tempo, in your face defense has also exposed their greatest weakness, discipline, as the Peacocks have averaged 25 fouls and 17 turnovers per game through three contests.
The Peacocks are led by seniors Todd Sowell(#34) and Raul Orta (#5). Sowell, a 67 250lb forward has already reached 1,000 points and 750 rebounds for his career and represents the heart of this team. He averaged 13 pts and 8.5 rebounds per game last season and has been named to several MAAC preseason all star teams. A proven shot blocker, he is relentless in his defense of the basket.
Raul Orta, a 65 guard, is the floor leader and greatest scoring threat for the Peacocks. Averaging 17ppg he is a deadly shooter from many spots on the court who can also make smooth drives to the basket for uncontested lay-ups.
Akeem Gooding (#31), a 65 205lb sophomore forward can flat out jump and is relied upon for timely rebounds at both ends of the floor.
Expect to see three athletic freshman receiving minutes on Sunday. Darrell Lampley (#1), a 59 guard from Linden, Kahlil Mumford (#11), a 511 guard from Philadelphia and Wesley Jenkins (#15), a 62 guard from Newark and Bloomfield Tech are being asked to contribute early and often in their careers.
Rutgers needs to practice hard and take this team seriously. They need to be on their toes and not get caught playing on their heels, St Peters is quick as lightning. The growing confidence of Hamady NDiaye will help the Scarlet immensely, but sharp play by the guards, both offensively and defensively, will be needed to get this game in the bag. Defense beat Dartmouth and with points from JR Inman, they can win again. A win is a win and Rutgers needs to get as many as possible one at a time.