Mississippi State basketball vs. Rutgers Scarlet Knights: 2023 quick preview

Let's get you up to speed on Mississippi State men's basketball game against Rutgers, but in a hurry. Here's what you need to know.
Nov 28, 2023; Atlanta, Georgia, USA; Mississippi State Bulldogs guard Josh Hubbard (13) shoots
Nov 28, 2023; Atlanta, Georgia, USA; Mississippi State Bulldogs guard Josh Hubbard (13) shoots / Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

As the Mississippi State men’s basketball team (9-2) gets set to take a bit of a holiday break with Christmas just a couple days away, Chris Jans and the Mississippi State Bulldogs are on the road in New Jersey set to square off against a tough Rutgers Scarlet Knights team (7-4). 

On Saturday, bright and early for folks who want to sleep in during the holidays but actually at lunchtime for many folks with young kids, Mississippi State will meet up with Rutgers at 11 a.m. in Newark, New Jersey. While this game is in New Jersey, it’s not actually going to be a Rutgers home game. 

Instead, this SEC vs. Big Ten clash which happens to be a bit of a key test for the Bulldogs is part of the Gotham Classic and will take place on a neutral court.

Mississippi State basketball vs. Rutgers: Quick preview

Here’s what you need to know about the game, in a quick, condensed preview article.

This game features a clash of stout defenses

Mississippi State proudly boasts one of the best defenses in the Southeastern Conference. Chris Jans continues to thrive in that regard, but Rutgers also thrives in smothering opposing offenses. 

MSU holds opponents to 63 points a game, but Rutgers routinely blocks and punishes opponents by just outrebounding foes into oblivion.

What to expect between MSU and Rutgers

Clifford Omoruyi to be a bit of a problem for the Bulldogs. Jimmy Bell Jr., Cameron Matthews, and the other frontcourt folks for MSU helping fill the void while Tolu Smith is out will be tasked with taking on one of the Big Ten’s best big men.

Also, well, expect a low scoring game. This is a battle of strength vs. strength and both of these teams do well at shutting opponents down. 

Which players to watch:

For MSU? Keep an eye on Josh Hubbard. He’s young, but he’s the Bulldogs’ leading scorer. For Rutgers? The aforementioned Omoruyi is a terrifying presence that few teams are actually able to properly handle.