PISCATAWAY, N.J. - Rutgers (10-14, 4-7) returns to the friendly confines of the RAC to host American Athletic Conference foe and No. 23-ranked Southern Methodist (19-5, 8-3) in a 7 p.m. tip-off on Friday (Feb. 14). The contest was originally scheduled for Thursday, but was postponed a day due to inclement weather. The Scarlet Knights will be working to earn back-to-back league victories and to earn a first round bye in next month’s AAC Tournament. SMU, which is ranked in the AP Top 25 for the first time since the 1984-85 season, will be looking to capture its fourth straight win and ninth in ten games. The Scarlet Knights have an opportunity to defeat their first ranked opponent since downing No. 24 Pittsburgh 67-62 at the RAC on Jan. 5, 2013.
It will be Dollar Dog Night at the truncated pyramid, as fans can purchase hot dogs for a dollar each (minimum five per transaction).
The contest will feature of pair of former NBA coaches who have returned to the college game in RU’s Eddie Jordan and SMU’s Larry Brown. In the NBA, the two squared-off as head coaches 21 times from 1997 to 2010. In the last meeting, Brown’s Charlotte squad defeated Jordan’s Philadelphia team 103-84 on March 31, 2010. Jordan’s last win came in an 86-84 76ers win over the Bobcats on Nov. 18, 2009.
The game will be televised live via the web on ESPN3. On the radio, the contest will be broadcast live on the Rutgers IMG Sports Network, WOR 710 AM in New York and WCTC 1450 AM in New Brunswick. Chris Carlin will serve as play-by-play announcer and Dick Lloyd will provide commentary. On satellite radio, the game will be on Sirius 93 and XM 190. WRSU (88.7 FM) will also broadcast the game.
Friday evening’s contest marks the second meeting between Rutgers and SMU on the hardwood, with the Mustangs holding a 1-0 edge after a 70-56 win at Moody Coliseum on Jan. 21. RU out-rebounded SMU 34-33, but was limited to 32.7 percent (18-of-55) shooting in the defeat. Senior J.J. Moore (Brentwood, N.Y.) was 5-of-10 to score a team-best 15 points. The Mustangs are undefeated at home this season.
Rutgers is coming off a 79-69 win at USF on Saturday night. Redshirt junior forward Kadeem Jack (Queens, N.Y.) shot 9-of-14 and a perfect 13-of-13 from the free throw line to score a career-high 31 points. His performance from the charity stripe tied for the third best in RU history and was the best since John Somogyi also went 13-for-13 vs. Navy (March 1, 1972). Junior guard Myles Mack (Paterson, N.J.) added 15 points and senior forward Wally Judge (Washington, D.C.) contributed 10 points and eight rebounds.
Jack was named to the American Athletic Conference Honor Roll on Monday. He averaged 21.5 points and 6.0 rebounds last week, while shooting 56 percent (14-of-25) from the field and 88.2 percent (15-of-17) from the free throw line. Jack ranks seventh in AAC in rebounding (6.9), eighth in field goal percentage (.514), ninth in blocks (1.3) and 12th in scoring (14.3).
SMU guard Nick Russell and forward Ben Moore scored 15 points each in a 76-55 home win over No. 7 Cincinnati on Saturday night, which ended the Bearcats' 15-game winning streak. It marked SMU’s first victory against a top 10 opponent since an 82-76 decision against No. 7 Florida on Dec. 3, 1987. The Mustangs rank among the top 20 nationally in field goal percentage defense (2nd, 36.7), field goal percentage (7th, 49.6), scoring defense (17th, 61.0) and rebound margin (17th, +6.8).