Teams: Syracuse Orange (3-0, 0-0) vs. No. 21 Rutgers Scarlet Knights (3-0, 0-0)
Day & Time: Tuesday, December 8, 9:30 p.m. ET
Location: Rutgers Athletic Center, Piscataway, N.J.
Line: N/A just yet.
TV/Streaming: ESPN2, WatchESPN
Radio: Cuse.com, TK 99/105, WAER 88.3
Rutgers Blog: On the Banks
Rivalry: 39-9, Syracuse
Current Streak: 13, Syracuse
First Meeting: The two future Big East rivals met for the first time in 1920, where Syracuse fell to the Scarlet Knights 30-20. Forward Nick Paul led the Orange with nine points. Syracuse exacted revenge from that lost by winning the next 13 games against Rutgers
Last Meeting: No. 7 Syracuse started its final season of Big East conference play in 2013 with a game in the Carrier Dome against Rutgers. Brandon Triche led all scorers with 25 points while Michael Carter-Williams had a double-double with 12 points and 10 assists. The win was Jim Boeheim’s 903rd at the time, which pushed the coach past Bob Knight for second place on the NCAA Division I all-time coaching wins list.
Head Coaches: Syracuse - Jim Boeheim (45th year, 1,068-399) | Rutgers - Steve Pikiell (fifth season, 67-65)
Coach Bio: Pikiell played point guard for UConn from 1987 to 1991. He helped lead the Huskies to their first Big East title during the 1989-90 season. Pikiell joined the UConn coaching staff as an assistant immediately after graduating for two seasons before joining the Yale coaching staff for three years. He then became the interim head coach at Division III Wesleyan for two years before returning to assistant jobs at Central Connecticut and George Washington. Pikiell then became the head coach of Stony Brook starting in 2005 until 2016. He led the Seawolves to six 20-plus win seasons and four conference regular season titles in the America East. Stony Brook won the America East tournament in 2016 and got a 13-seed in the NCAA tournament, where the Seawolves lost to Kentucky.
Pikiell left Stony Brook after the success of 2016 to join Rutgers. After his first three seasons ended with under-.500 records, he led the Scarlet Knights to a 20-win season in his fourth season. As such, Pikiell earned the Jim Phelan Award, which is given to the nation’s top Division I coach.
Last Year: Rutgers reached 20 wins for the first time since the 2003-04 season. The Scarlet Knights won four ranked games last year, including an 11-point win over No. 9 Maryland in March. Rutgers got the eight-seed in the Big Ten tournament and was scheduled to play Michigan before the season was paused.
Last Game: Early runs in the first and second half allowed Rutgers to break away from Hofstra on November 29 to earn a 70-56 win. The Scarlet Knights held the Pride to 30.2% shooting from the floor and 22.2% shooting from range. Jacob Young led Rutgers with 17 points while Ron Harper Jr. barely missed out on a double-double with 15 points and nine rebounds.
“Fear Me, I’ve Killed Hundreds of Timelords”: Harper is the big threat for the Scarlet Knights as he leads Rutgers with 21 points per game and 7.7 rebounds per game this season. The son of the former Chicago Bull and Los Angeles Laker earned an honorable mention to the All-Big Ten team last season and was named to the Wooden Award watch list this season.
If Syracuse Wins: Perfectly balanced. As all things should be.
If Syracuse Loses: We barricade the doors as we fight off the trolls and attempt to cope with the fact that Rutgers might be better than Syracuse.
Fun Fact: Harper and Montez Mathis joined Rutgers for the 2018-19 season as four-star recruits. This marked the first time since 2008 that the Scarlet Knights had multiple four-star recruits in the same recruiting class.