Preview: Rutgers vs. NJIT

Thursday night, Dec 13, The Rutgers Scarlet Knights will for the first time visit the new Prudential Center in Newark NJ as guests of the NJIT Highlanders. The game provides a great opportunity for all Rutgers fans to appraise the atmosphere of the new arena while the Scarlet Knights should dominate the Highlanders.

With head coach Jim Casciano on medical leave for personal health reasons, it has been up to interim head coach Wendell Alexis to guide the Highlanders in their first official season as an NCAA D1 program. It has been a tough, make that very tough beginning. This year NJIT has posted an 0-12 start, losing to such teams as Rider, Stony Brook, and Vermont. When playing teams like Manhattan, Washington and Fordham they’ve lost by an average of 42 points.

Rutgers and NJIT do have a common opponent in Lafayette College. Lafayette who gave Rutgers a good battle, eventually losing by 11 points, crushed NJIT by 24. Can we do the simple math and assume Rutgers will win by 35? Maybe not, but I expect it to be pretty close to that.

Forward Nesho Milosevic a 6’8” 240 pounder appears to be the lone star of the team. He consistently scores 11-15 ppg and pulls down about 8-10 rpg. He is sometimes helped by guards Jheryl Wilson , Juston Garris and Kraig Peters with Peters being the best of the bunch. The unmistakable fact has NJIT dominated all season in every statistical category of the game. They are truly struggling. The team is shooting in the 34-38% range with their 2 pointers and 20-28% from beyond the arc. Foul shooting? Only 64-68%.

NJIT does have Dan Stonkus 6’9” 245 playing at center but this is a game where veteran captain Byron Joynes and sophomore Hamady N’Daiye need to assert themselves and simply take over. I have to believe the combination of JR Inman, Jaron G and Earl Pettis should serve to neutralize Milosevic. The athleticism and overall ability of guards Corey Chandler, Anthony Farmer, and Mike Coburn should be beyond NJIT’s ability to defend. Justin Sofman may have an opportunity for some quality minutes as well while the team prepares to play their Big East schedule.

This is the easiest of all the scheduled opponents for 2007/08. Enjoy the sights, enjoy the ambience, enjoy the game. There is no reason Rutgers cannot breeze out of “The Rock“ with a huge victory . The schedule quickly adds a little meat to it…up next…North Carolina.

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