Rutgers has opportunity to find its footing vs. Lafayette

·2 min read

Although Rutgers had won its first three games of the season against inferior competition, it really had not found the right lineup combination for success.

Those problems continued when the Scarlet Knights went on the road for the first time and lost to perennial Big East cellar-dweller DePaul on Thursday.

DePaul shot 54.5 percent from 3-point range in the second half of that contest and made several huge 3-pointers late in the game to swing and then maintain the momentum.

The Scarlet Knights (3-1) will have to be prepared for similar tactics when they host Lafayette (0-4) on Monday evening in Piscataway, N.J.

The Leopards have attempted a whopping 33 treys per game. The problem is they've only connected on 31.8 percent of those attempts.

The Leopards have attempted so many 3-pointers because they use a "four-out" offense with 7-foot center Neal Quinn passing from the low post. He has a team-leading 15 assists and Kyle Jenkins (14.8) is Lafayette's leading scorer.

Rutgers center Cliff Omoruyi (10.8 points, 7.3 rebounds) likely will match up against Quinn. He had 10 points but only three rebounds against the Blue Demons because he was plagued by foul trouble and played 19 minutes.

"I felt like Cliff never got his feet wet," Rutgers coach Steve Pikiell said after that game. "He was never really in a groove."

Still, this could be Rutgers' chance to get Omoruyi going, as well as stars Ron Harper Jr. (16.5 points, 11.3 rebounds) and Geo Baker (13.3 points). The Leopards have yet to be competitive on the road, losing their three contests away from home by an average of 31.7 points to Syracuse, Penn and Duke.

The Blue Devils routed them, 88-55 on Friday after leading only 35-27 at intermission.

"I thought we competed very well for the first 24 or 25 minutes, and we had a chance to get it to four with a couple foul shots, but we didn't get it done," veteran Lafayette coach Fran O'Hanlon said. "And then they went on a huge spurt, and we lost our poise a bit."

--Field Level Media