Prediction, Preview, and Odds
#623 Drexel vs.
#624 Rutgers
Wednesday, November 13, 2019 at 8:00pm EST
Written by Joshua Broom

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#623 Drexel University
#624 Rutgers University
2-1
2-0
17-13-1
16-14-1
15-15-1
15-15-1
75
67
77
68

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Colonial Athletic Association meets Big Ten Wednesday as the Drexel Dragons face the Rutgers Scarlet Knights.

One season after finishing 13-19 overall and 6-8 in non-conference play, Drexel is currently 2-1. Most recently, Zach Spiker’s men outlasted visiting Abilene Christian 86-83 Sunday in overtime. A game prior, the Dragons took down host Niagara 72-64. The Colonial Athletic Association mainstay dropped its season-opener 70-62 vs. 2019 NCAA Tournament inclusion Temple.

The Scarlet Knights are undefeated after edging the Bryant Bulldogs 73-71 during a tense 2019 opener. Rutgers followed that success by dominating Niagara 86-39 Sunday. Sideline leader Steve Pikiell begins his fourth season with the Scarlet Knights. Pikiell inherited a struggling lot from former NBA standout Eddie Jordan and hasn’t finished any of his Scarlet Knight ledgers above .500. Rutgers' last winning season (19-14) came in 2006 under Gary Waters.

KenPom.com lists Rutgers as its #69 team while Drexel is ranked #242 by Pomeroy. The Scarlet Knights open Wednesday’s contest as -16 point favorites according to Pregame.com.

Rutgers basketball enjoying steady improvement

Much of Rutgers’ current spread confidence arises from strides within Big Ten play. The Scarlet Knights jumped from three 2017 conference wins to eight last year. And while Piekell’s men still have valleys to pass before contending within their major conference arena, optimism abounds. That momentum is still evident after losing 2018’s leading scorer Eugene Omoruyi (13.8) to Oregon. Omoruyi is replaced by sturdy return talent Geo Baker, Montez Mathis, Ron Harper Jr., Pete Kiss and Caleb McConnell. Along with several newcomers, big things are also expected from 6-10 pivot Myles Johnson.

Johnson finished with six points and six rebounds during Rutgers’ lopsided defeat of Niagra. Baker’s 22 points and four assists led all scorers as the 6-4 lead guard was joined in double-figure scoring by Stony Brook grad transfer Akwasi Yeboah (14 pts, two of four 3pt). Overall, on a banner night for Rutgers basketball, the Scarlet Knights shot 59 percent and seven of seventeen from deep. Rutgers held the Purple Eagles to 30.8 percent FGM while displaying steep competitive divide. Expect that divide Wednesday vs. mid-major Drexel.

After two games this season, Rutgers holds opponents to 55 ppg (#32 NCAA) & adds 79.5 ppg (#122).

Drexel seeks identity after losing top-end talent

A program stuck in limbo, Drexel is picked near the Colonial basement while losing its top three scorers one year after finishing 7-11 in conference play. Troy Harper (15.8), Alihan Demir (14.8) and Trevor John (11.9) either graduated or transferred to create a void moving forward. With production opportunities wide open, 2018’s CAA Rookie of the Year Camren Wynter, James Butler and Zach Walton have stepped up. Walton’s 22 points and game-winner led the Dragons’ latest win as Butler (13) and Sam Green (11) added double-figures vs. Abilene Christian. Wynter finished with eight points and six assists in that overtime offense-fest. Though, needing extra frames to defeat plausibly inferior competition and eking a contest vs. a team your next opponent blasted by 47 points isn’t encouraging, even with home-court advantage.

This Drexel group has many hurdles to climb on its path toward respectability.

Through three 2019 outings, the Dragons average 73.3 ppg (#185 NCAA) and allow 72.3 ppg (#228 NCAA).

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Against common opponent Niagara, Rutgers’ execution was near-flawless as the A-10 program appeared light years ahead of their overmatched opponent. Conversely, Drexel showed tentative stretches while surrendering turnovers and missing shots in a relatively close game vs. the Purple Eagles.

Wednesday Rutgers will again show its class divide vs the similarly overmatched Dragons. Expect Scarlet Knight point guard Geo Baker to control pace and make life easy for his emerging wings and post talent. Behind a solid team effort, and inside-out scoring, take Rutgers vs. host Drexel.

Prediction: Rutgers

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I’ll take the Under 144.5 here as Rutgers isn’t an offensive powerhouse and Drexel won’t add many points vs. big-league competition. Also weighing heavily in the under decision is the fact Drexel’s top three scorers from a non-competitive 2018 group are no longer on the roster. Expect the Scarlet Knights to add around 80 points as Drexel will do well to break 60. Behind point guard Geo Baker, the Scarlet Knights’ pace will remain controlled and the team’s bench will empty sometime in the second half. All a recipe for Under basketball.

Prediction: Under
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Written By Joshua Broom

A lifelong sports enthusiast, Joshua Broom has lent his thirty-plus years of insight to several sports outlets and has appeared on national radio to talk hoops. Now a dedicated handicapper, Joshua avidly critiques NBA, MLB and college and professional basketball and football trends for the betting public. Check out his picks today at Stat Salt to get a leg up on your bookie.