Preview: Rutgers vs. Houston

Game Rutgers Scarlet Knights vs. Houston Cougars
Date: March 21st, 2021 7:10 PM
TV: TBS
Spread: HOU -7.5 Open -8.5
Total: 131 Open: 132

Preview

Rutgers Offense vs. Houston Defense

The Scarlet Knights are ranked 93rd nationally in Bart Torvik’s adjusted offensive efficiency ratings. Rutgers shoots 51.7 percent on twos and 31.2 percent on threes for a 50.1 effective field goal percentage.

Houston’s defense is ranked 10th nationally in adjusted defensive efficiency. Opponents shoot 42.6 percent on twos and 29 percent on threes for a 42.9 effective field goal percentage against the Cougars.

Basics
  • Rutgers offense enters the tournament on a cold streak. Over the last 30 days, the Scarlet Knights are ranked 179th in adjusted offensive efficiency compared to 93rd for the year.
  • Houston’s defense needs to get back on track in the NCAA Tournament. Over the last 30 days, the Cougars are ranked 33rd in adjusted defensive efficiency compared to 10th overall.
  • Rutgers is one of the most experienced teams in college basketball, averaging 2.02 years of experience weighted by minutes played, per KenPom.com.
  • The Scarlet Knights are one of the biggest teams in the NCAA Tournament with an average height of 77.92 inches according to KenPom.com.
  • The Scarlet Knights have a notable size advantage on the inside, their power forwards and centers rank in the 77th percentile in height compared to Houston’s bigs which rank in the 25th percentile.
  • Houston can get into trouble given its tendency to commit fouls. The Cougars send their opponents to the free-throw line 42 times per 100 shot attempts. That’s one of the worst rates in the country and Rutgers gets to the stripe 27 times per 100 field goal attempts.
  • Rutgers is one of the worst free-throw shooting teams in college hoops, making just 64 percent of its freebies.
Extra Possessions
  • Rutgers does a great job of maximizing its offensive possessions and valuing the basketball. The Scarlet Knights only turn it over on 16.8 percent of their offensive possessions. That sets up a strength on strength battle against a Houston defense that forces giveaways on 21.6 percent of possessions.
Shot Profile
  • Rutgers offense can be somewhat one-dimensional because there’s only one player (Mulcahy) on the roster who shoots 38% or better from 3-point range on 50+ attempts.
  • Houston controls the area around the hoop, allowing 51 percent shooting inside of five-feet. Rutgers makes 57 percent of its interior shots which is about average in college basketball. .
  • Houston’s defense does a terrific job of funneling offensive players into pull-up 2-point attempts. Cougars opponents attempt 25 percent of their shots from the mid-range and connect at a 29 percent clip. Rutgers offense shoots 39 percent on its mid-range attempts.
Style
  • Rutgers has an elite transition offense and scores 14.9 points per game in transition, while Houston’s transition defense has been run of the mill and allows 10.9 points per game in transition.
  • Rutgers runs more isolation sets than the average Division I team. The Scarlet Knights score 7.5 points per game out of ioslations at 0.67 points per play. Houston’s defense excels at defending one-on-one, allowing just 0.63 points per isolation play.

Houston Offense vs. Rutgers Defense

Houston checks in at 6th nationally in Bart Torvik’s adjusted offensive efficiency ratings. The Cougars shoot 49.9 percent on twos and 34.9 percent on threes for a 50.9 effective field goal percentage.

Rutgers is ranked 19th nationally in adjusted defensive efficiency. On the season, Rutgers opponents make 46.7 percent of their twos and 32.3 percent of their threes for a 47.3 effective field goal percentage.

Basics
  • Houston plays at a deliberate pace. The Cougars average 65 possessions per game which is one of the slower tempos in college basketball.
  • You can trust Houston at the line in a close game. The Cougars shoot 74 percent at the line for the season.
Extra Possessions
  • Houston does a terrific job turning defense into offense. The Cougars score 17.3 points points per game off of turnovers.
  • The Cougars are fantastic on the offensive glass and rebound 40.2 percent of their missed shots. Rutgers is just okay on the defensive glass, grabbing 70.3 percent of opponent misses, which means the rebounding battle could swing this game in either direction.
  • Second chance points are crucial to Houston’s offense. The Cougars score 14.4 points off of second chances and only allow 8.4 points per game, outscoring teams by 6.0 points per game just on second chance opportunities. Rutgers has struggled on the glass and has been outscored by 1.4 points per game in the paint.
Shot Profile
  • Houston’s offensive attack is perimeter-oriented. The Cougars attempt 42 percent of their shots from 3-point range. The Cougars also make a lot of those attempts, shooting 35 percent from outside the arc.
  • Houston is one of the best teams in the country at finishing around the basket. The Cougars shoot 62 percent at the rim and Rutgers allows 54 percent shooting inside of five feet.
  • Houston’s offense is heavy on mid-range jumpers. The Cougars attempt 27 percent of their shots from the mid-range and connect at a 37 percent clip.
Style
  • Rutgers defense gives up assists on 56.3 percent of made baskets which is a sign that they help too aggressively.
  • Houston trusts its players to create in one-on-one situations and scores 8.2 points per game out of iso actions at 0.83 points per play. Rutgers defense excels at defending one-on-one, allowing just 0.74 points per isolation play.

Bottom Line

According to Bart Torvik, Houston is a 69-60 favorite with a 82 percent chance of advancing.

RUTG Personnel

#24 Ron Harper

Role: Tall Spot Up Wing
Height: 6'6" | Weight: 245 lbs

Transition Scorer Catch and Shoot Isolation Scorer Avoids Turnovers
Pts Reb Ast ORtg Usage eFG%
14.9 5.9 1.6 109.3 22.5% 51.1%

#42 Jacob Young

Role: Primary Ball Handler
Height: 6'2" | Weight: 185 lbs

Ball Screen Creator Distributor Transition Scorer Pick Pocket Isolation Scorer Go-To Guy
Pts Reb Ast ORtg Usage eFG%
14.1 1.9 3.4 98.0 26.9% 51.5%

#0 Geo Baker

Role: Domineering Ball Handler
Height: 6'4" | Weight: 195 lbs

Ball Screen Creator Mid-Range Specialist Off the Dribble Shooter Isolation Scorer Poor Finisher Takes Tough Shots
Pts Reb Ast ORtg Usage eFG%
10.4 3.1 3.2 99.8 19.9% 48.8%

#10 Montez Mathis

Role: Tall Spot Up Wing
Height: 6'4" | Weight: 210 lbs

Transition Scorer Poor Finisher Avoids Turnovers Inefficient Shooter Below 65% FT
Pts Reb Ast ORtg Usage eFG%
8.2 2.8 0.8 91.4 23.5% 43%

#15 Myles Johnson

Role: Versatile Big
Height: 6'11" | Weight: 255 lbs

Post-Up Scorer Finisher Pick Pocket Rim Protector Non Shooter Offensive Rebounder Defensive Rebounder Below 65% FT
Pts Reb Ast ORtg Usage eFG%
8 8.5 0.8 113.0 17.2% 62.8%

HOU Personnel

#24 Quentin Grimes

Role: Secondary Ball Handler
Height: 6'5" | Weight: 205 lbs

Ball Screen Creator Transition Scorer Off the Dribble Shooter Catch and Shoot Isolation Scorer Go-To Guy Avoids Turnovers
Pts Reb Ast ORtg Usage eFG%
18 6 1.8 117.9 25.8% 52.7%

#0 Marcus Sasser

Role: Secondary Ball Handler
Height: 6'1" | Weight: 190 lbs

Ball Screen Creator Transition Scorer Pick Pocket Off the Dribble Shooter Isolation Scorer Takes Tough Shots Avoids Turnovers Above 80% FT
Pts Reb Ast ORtg Usage eFG%
13.2 2.5 2.2 114.1 20.5% 48.9%

#3 DeJon Jarreau

Role: Primary Ball Handler
Height: 6'5" | Weight: 185 lbs

Ball Screen Creator Distributor Mid-Range Specialist Transition Scorer Pick Pocket Catch and Shoot Isolation Scorer Takes Tough Shots
Pts Reb Ast ORtg Usage eFG%
11.2 5.6 4.4 111.6 23.5% 50.4%

#4 Justin Gorham

Role: Versatile Big
Height: 6'7" | Weight: 225 lbs

Post-Up Scorer Stretch Big Man Offensive Rebounder Smart Shot Selection Gets to the Line Avoids Turnovers
Pts Reb Ast ORtg Usage eFG%
8.6 8.8 1.2 131.6 15.8% 55.3%

#12 Tramon Mark

Role: Secondary Ball Handler
Height: 6'5" | Weight: 180 lbs

Ball Screen Creator Mid-Range Specialist Transition Scorer Pick Pocket Isolation Scorer Takes Tough Shots
Pts Reb Ast ORtg Usage eFG%
8 3.1 1.8 105.0 23.0% 42.5%

ATS

Houston ATS Performance

This Season

Houston is 20-9-0 against the spread this year. The over has hit in 14 of 29 Houston games (48.3%) this season.

Houston is 5-2-0 against the spread at neutral sites this year. The over has hit in 3 of Houston’s 7 games on neutral floors (42.9%) this season.

Date Opp Result Spread Cover By Total Over By
11/25/2020 Lamar W, 89-45 -21.5 W 22.5 138.5 UNDER -4.5
11/27/2020 Boise State W, 68-58 -11.5 L -1.5 144.5 UNDER -18.5
11/29/2020 vs. Texas Tech W, 64-53 2.5 W 13.5 129.5 UNDER -12.5
12/5/2020 South Carolina W, 77-67 -9.5 W 0.5 140.5 OVER 3.5
12/20/2020 Alcorn State W, 88-55 -34.5 L -1.5 142 OVER 1
12/22/2020 Temple W, 76-50 -16.5 W 9.5 134.5 UNDER -8.5
12/26/2020 at UCF W, 63-54 -7.5 W 1.5 134.5 UNDER -17.5
12/29/2020 at Tulsa L, 64-65 -7.5 L -8.5 128.5 OVER 0.5
1/3/2021 at SMU W, 74-60 -1.5 W 12.5 134 UNDER 0
1/6/2021 Wichita State W, 70-63 -11.5 L -4.5 136 UNDER -3
1/9/2021 Tulane W, 71-50 -19 W 2 128.5 UNDER -7.5
1/17/2021 UCF W, 75-58 -13.5 W 3.5 129.5 OVER 3.5
1/20/2021 Tulsa W, 86-59 -12 W 15 124.5 OVER 20.5
1/23/2021 at Temple W, 68-51 -11.5 W 5.5 131 UNDER -12
1/28/2021 at Tulane W, 83-60 -17.5 W 5.5 127.5 OVER 15.5
1/31/2021 SMU W, 70-48 -10.5 W 11.5 139.5 UNDER -21.5
2/3/2021 at East Carolina L, 73-82 -16.5 L -25.5 132.5 OVER 22.5
2/10/2021 at South Florida W, 82-65 -11.5 W 5.5 128.5 OVER 18.5
2/18/2021 at Wichita State L, 63-68 -8 L -13 137.5 UNDER -6.5
2/21/2021 Cincinnati W, 90-52 -12.5 W 25.5 135.5 OVER 6.5
2/25/2021 Western Kentucky W, 81-57 -11.5 W 12.5 136 OVER 2
2/28/2021 South Florida W, 98-52 -18.5 W 27.5 132 OVER 18
3/7/2021 Memphis W, 67-64 -10 L -7 134.5 UNDER -3.5
3/12/2021 vs. Tulane W, 77-52 -17.5 W 7.5 132 UNDER -3
3/13/2021 vs. Memphis W, 76-74 -7.5 L -5.5 132.5 OVER 17.5
3/14/2021 vs. Cincinnati W, 91-54 -13.5 W 23.5 136.5 OVER 8.5
3/19/2021 vs. Cleveland State W, 87-56 -20 W 11 135 OVER 8
3/21/2021 vs. Rutgers W, 63-60 -8 L -5 131.5 UNDER -8.5
3/27/2021 vs. Syracuse W, 62-46 -6.5 W 9.5 140 UNDER -32

Head to Head

Houston is 0-1-0 against the spread when it plays against Rutgers in recorded games since 2021. The over has hit in 0 out of 1 recorded head-to-head games (0%).

Date Opp Result Spread Cover By Total Over By
3/21/2021 vs. Rutgers W, 63-60 -8 L -5 131.5 UNDER -8.5

Rutgers ATS Performance

This Season

Rutgers is 17-11-0 against the spread this year. The over has hit in 12 of 28 Rutgers games (42.9%) this season.

Rutgers is 3-1-0 against the spread at neutral sites this year. The over has hit in 1 of Rutgers 4 games on neutral floors (25%) this season.

Date Opp Result Spread Cover By Total Over By
11/25/2020 Sacred Heart W, 86-63 0 W 23 139.5 OVER 9.5
11/27/2020 Fairleigh Dickinson W, 96-75 -20.5 W 0.5 144.5 OVER 26.5
11/29/2020 Hofstra W, 70-56 -14.5 L -0.5 148.5 UNDER -22.5
12/8/2020 Syracuse W, 79-69 -3.5 W 6.5 141.5 OVER 6.5
12/14/2020 at Maryland W, 74-60 2.5 W 16.5 140.5 UNDER -6.5
12/20/2020 Illinois W, 91-88 3 W 6 143.5 OVER 35.5
12/23/2020 at Ohio State L, 68-80 2.5 L -9.5 138.5 OVER 9.5
12/29/2020 Purdue W, 81-76 -3.5 W 1.5 138.5 OVER 18.5
1/2/2021 Iowa L, 75-77 3.5 W 1.5 158.5 UNDER -6.5
1/5/2021 at Michigan State L, 45-68 1.5 L -21.5 151.5 UNDER -38.5
1/9/2021 Ohio State L, 68-79 -4 L -15 139.5 OVER 7.5
1/15/2021 Wisconsin L, 54-60 2.5 L -3.5 133.5 UNDER -19.5
1/21/2021 at Penn State L, 67-75 -1 L -9 144 UNDER -2
1/24/2021 at Indiana W, 74-70 4.5 W 8.5 135.5 OVER 8.5
1/28/2021 Michigan State W, 67-37 -2.5 W 27.5 141.5 UNDER -37.5
1/31/2021 at Northwestern W, 64-56 -4 W 4 140 UNDER -20
2/4/2021 Minnesota W, 76-72 -5.5 L -1.5 140.5 OVER 7.5
2/10/2021 at Iowa L, 66-79 6.5 L -6.5 151.5 UNDER -6.5
2/13/2021 Northwestern W, 64-50 -8 W 6 137 UNDER -23
2/18/2021 at Michigan L, 64-71 10 W 3 136.5 UNDER -1.5
2/21/2021 Maryland L, 59-68 -4.5 L -13.5 131 UNDER -4
2/24/2021 Indiana W, 74-63 -3.5 W 7.5 133 OVER 4
3/1/2021 at Nebraska L, 51-72 -7 L -28 136 UNDER -13
3/6/2021 at Minnesota W, 77-70 -3.5 W 3.5 139.5 OVER 7.5
3/11/2021 vs. Indiana W, 61-50 -3 W 8 130.5 UNDER -19.5
3/12/2021 vs. Illinois L, 68-90 7.5 L -14.5 137.5 OVER 20.5
3/19/2021 vs. Clemson W, 60-56 -1.5 W 2.5 125.5 UNDER -9.5
3/21/2021 vs. Houston L, 60-63 8 W 5 131.5 UNDER -8.5

Head to Head

Rutgers is 1-0-0 against the spread when it plays against Houston in recorded games since 2021. The over has hit in 0 out of 1 recorded head-to-head games (0%).

Date Opp Result Spread Cover By Total Over By
3/21/2021 vs. Houston L, 60-63 8 W 5 131.5 UNDER -8.5
Note: Our ATS data dates back to the 2017-18 season.

News

News Updates

News updates via RotoWire.
  • Justin Gorham (03/28): Gorham had 13 points (4-6 FG, 5-6 FT), 10 rebounds and two assists in 28 minutes during Saturday's 62-46 win over Syracuse.
  • DeJon Jarreau (03/28): Jarreau had nine points (3-8 FG, 0-3 3Pt, 3-6 FT), eight rebounds, eight assists, a steal and a block in 34 minutes during Saturday's 62-46 win over Syracuse in the Sweet 16.
  • DeJon Jarreau (03/27): Jarreau (hip) is starting Saturday's NCAA Tournament game against Syracuse, Joseph Duarte of the Houston Chronicle reports.
  • Jacob Young (03/26): Young announced via his personal Twitter account Friday has entered his name into both the 2021 NBA Draft and the transfer portal in order to explore all other options.
  • Myles Johnson (03/25): Johnson submitted his name to the transfer portal Thursday, Jeff Borzello of ESPN.com reports.
  • Myles Johnson (03/22): Johnson compiled six points (2-4 FG, 2-4 FT), four rebounds, one assist, one steal and one block over 26 minutes in Sunday's 63-60 loss to Houston.
  • Paul Mulcahy (03/22): Mulcahy totaled five points (2-2 FG, 1-1 3Pt), five rebounds and four assists over 25 minutes in Sunday's 63-60 loss to Houston.
  • Ron Harper (03/22): Harper recorded six points (2-8 FG, 2-5 3Pt), five rebounds, two assists, two blocks and one steal over 31 minutes in Sunday's 63-60 loss to Houston.
  • Jacob Young (03/22): Young compiled nine points (4-12 FG, 1-4 3Pt), three assists and one rebound over 33 minutes in Sunday's 63-60 loss to Houston.
  • Geo Baker (03/22): Baker tallied 14 points (5-10 FG, 1-3 3Pt, 3-4 FT), four assists and two rebounds over 30 minutes in Sunday's 63-60 loss to Houston.
  • Montez Mathis (03/22): Mathis posted 10 points (3-6 FG, 2-2 3Pt, 2-2 FT), one rebound and one steal over 22 minutes in Sunday's 63-60 loss to Houston.
  • DeJon Jarreau (03/22): Jarreau finished the game with 17 points (6-12 FG, 2-4 3Pt, 3-4 FT, five rebounds and two assists across 32 minutes in Sunday's 63-60 victory over Rutgers.
  • Quentin Grimes (03/21): Grimes had a game-high 22 points (7-15 FG, 5-9 3Pt, 3-6 FT), nine rebounds and two steals across 40 minutes in Sunday's 63-60 victory over Rutgers.
  • DeJon Jarreau (03/21): Jarreau (hip) returned to action Sunday against Rutgers following a hip problem.
  • Myles Johnson (03/21): Johnson (ankle) will be available for Sunday's game against Houston, Jon Rothstein of CBS Sports reports.
  • Myles Johnson (03/20): Johnson (ankle) said "I'm confident I'm going to play" in Sunday's game against Houston during a media session Saturday, Jerry Carino of the Asbury Park Press reports.
  • DeJon Jarreau (03/20): Jarreau (hip) will practice Saturday, though it's unclear to what extent he'll participate, Joseph Duarte of the Houston Chronicle reports.
  • Jacob Young (03/20): Young totaled 13 points (5-7 FG, 3-5 3Pt), three rebounds, one assist and one steal over 34 minutes in Friday's 60-56 win over Clemson.
  • Myles Johnson (03/20): Johnson exited Friday's game against Clemson with an apparent ankle injury, Jerry Carino of the Asbury Park Press reports.
  • J'wan Roberts (03/19): Roberts (thumb) was held scoreless with one rebound over two minutes in Friday's 87-56 win over Cleveland State.
  • DeJon Jarreau (03/19): Jarreau (hip) is unlikely to play in Sunday's game, Joseph Duarte of the Houston Chronicle reports.
  • DeJon Jarreau (03/19): Jarreau suffered a hip injury during the first half of Friday's game against Cleveland State and is questionable to return, Joseph Duarte of the Houston Chronicle reports.
  • J'wan Roberts (03/19): Roberts (thumb) is a game-time decision for Friday's NCAA Tournament matchup with Cleveland State, Jon Rothstein of CBS Sports reports.
  • J'wan Roberts (03/17): Houston head coach Kelvin Sampson said Roberts (thumb) returned to practice Tuesday, leaving the door open for the freshman forward to play Friday in the Cougars' matchup with Cleveland State in the opening round of the NCAA tournament, Jon Rothstein of CBS Sports reports.
  • Geo Baker (03/13): Baker totaled 10 points (4-8 FG, 1-5 3Pt, 1-1 FT), three rebounds, one assist and one block over 30 minutes in Friday's 90-68 loss to Illinois.