Tip-Off Time: Rutgers Men’s and Women’s Hoops Ready to Begin ’23-24 Season
Rutgers men’s and women’s basketball begin their respective seasons this evening in separate games in the Garden State. The men begin their season down Route 1 in Trenton against regional rival, Princeton. Meanwhile, the women tip off at Jersey Mike’s Arena against Monmouth.
Steve Pikiell has guided Rutgers men’s basketball to new heights in his first seven years with the program. The club reached the NCAA tournament two years in a row (2021 and 2022), before qualifying for an NIT bid last year.
This season the men’s team comes in with a different look. Gone are stalwarts Caleb McConnell and Paul Mulcahy. Derek Simpson, Mawot Mag, Clifford Omoruyi, and Aundre Hyatt highlight the returning veterans. But in many ways this also feels like a new era of Rutgers basketball. Gavin Griffith’s this year’s top recruit begins his collegiate basketball career tonight for the Scarlet Knights.
JaMichael Davis is also another freshman on this season’s squad that is a player to watch for RU.
The Scarlet Knights also added two transfers in Austin Williams out of UMass and Jeremiah Williams from Temple.
Tonight the men will go up against Princeton for the first time in a decade, which is hard to believe considering this will be the 121st meeting between the two central Jersey-based programs.
The Tigers are coming off a memorable 2022-23 campaign that saw Princeton reach the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament. Rutgers is 45-75 all time against the Princeton Tigers.
The men will see plenty of home cooking to start the 2023-24 campaign. After the opener down in Trenton tonight, Rutgers will play six straight at Jersey Mike’s Arena, starting with Boston University on November 10.
The ladies are coming off a rebuilding season in 2022-23, where they won 12 games. In her first season at the helm of the Rutgers women’s basketball team, Coquese Washington guided the Scarlet Knights to the program’s 1,000 win in a road win at Minnesota on January 12.
Returning are Kaylene Smikle, last year’s Freshman standout who was All-Big Ten Second Team and a member of the Big Ten All-Freshman team.
Chyna Cornwell, who was a Big Ten All Honorable Mention also marks her return to help lead a good mix of vets and new faces.
Speaking of new faces, Rutgers was busy in the off-season adding to the roster. Transfers Destiny Adams from UNC and sophomore Mya Petticord from Texas A&M join the action this season. Lisa Thompson also highlights what should be a standout freshman class.
Rutgers will open the season tonight at Jersey Mike’s Arena against Monmouth at 7 p.m. Rutgers has won the opening game in nine of its last 11 seasons, dating back to the 2012-13 slate.