Rutgers Basketball Mid Season Grades

The 2023-2024 basketball season is over halfway complete, and with the calendar on the brink of flipping to February, it’s time for some player grades for the Rutgers Basketball team so far. It hasn’t been very pretty, as Rutgers sits in 13th place as of January 30th, only ahead of Michigan in the standings. The team’s main issue is consistency, and closing out games while having a lead. Here are the individual grades I would give the Rutgers rotational players based on preseason expectations and performances so far this season, as Penn State looms on the horizon on Wednesday night:

Derek Simpson: (9.4 PPG, 3.2 RPG, 3.1 APG, 32.6 FG%, 31.0% 3PT%)

The Sophomore Simpson, who has served as Rutgers’ primary Point Guard for the majority of the season, has had an interesting series of performances throughout the year. In two games this season, Simpson has gone for 23 points, against Howard and Ohio State. But his shooting percentage has been extremely inconsistent, makes him a hard one to judge so far. 

Grade: B-


Austin Williams: (5.3 PPG, 3.1 RPG, 0.7 APG, 51.6 FG%, 38.5 3PT%)

Williams began his 7th season of college basketball off slow, but eventually turned into one of the most reliable players to get the ball to when the team has needed a basket. Before his 0 point performance against Illinois, Williams was averaging 10.0 PPG in a span of four Big Ten games. He has been impressive for the most part, and quickly earned himself a spot in the starting lineup for the foreseeable future.

Grade: B+

Aundre Hyatt: (12.4 PPG, 5.3 RPG, 1.4 APG, 39.3 FG%, 33.6 3PT%)

Hyatt has been one of the few bright spots on the team this season, being the team’s leading scorer, and has improved his three point shooting drastically. The past two seasons, Hyatt had been very inconsistent, but this year, it’s been the complete opposite. He puts up similar numbers every game, and has been a somewhat reliable go-to guy for points on a team that really can’t score points. 

Grade: A

Mawot Mag: (9.5 PPG, 4.5 RPG, 1.6 APG, 36.2 FG%, 27.8 3PT%)

Mag has taken the step up that we all expected him to make, being his senior season, and despite the ACL injury, he has come back better than he’s ever been. He has become much more of a scoring threat, scoring in double digits in five straight games before last weekend. His defense is some of the best in the entire conference, and he is undoubtedly the most important player on the roster.

Grade: A

Cliff Omoruyi: (10.9 PPG, 9.2 RPG, 3.1 BPG, 50.3 FG%, 20.0 3PT%)

Omoruyi has not met the overall expectations we imagined coming into the season. The ability to score points more than five feet away from the basket has not been there, and has really never been there. But, over the last two games, Cliff has combined for 36 points (18.0 PPG), and has been the dominant presence we expected all year. Maybe he is turning things around in the right direction? The defense has been no different, as the 3.1 blocks per game is one of the best in the entire nation. 

Grade: B-


Gavin Griffiths: (6.0 PPG, 1.9 RPG, 0.4 APG, 33.6 FG%, 27.4 3PT%)

Griffiths, the high four star freshman from Connecticut, started the season off hot, but has since become a mostly non-factor. He has played single digit minutes over the past four games, and has not been able to knock any of his shots down. Now this could mostly be due to being a young player in a tough conference, but he needs his confidence back. 

Grade: C-

Noah Fernandes: (7.4 PPG, 2.2 RPG, 1.8 APG, 34.4 FG%, 30.2 3PT%)

Fernandes has also had a rough go of things recently, beginning the season as a solidified starter and impressing, into all of the sudden a bench player who doesn’t do a whole lot. What is promising, though, is he’s scored 17 points over his last two games, so maybe he’s also beginning to figure out life in the Big Ten. Another victim of inconsistency.

Grade: C-

Jamichael Davis: (5.3 PPG, 2.9 RPG, 2.3 APG, 36.4 FG%, 26.3 3PT%)

Davis has been a pleasant surprise this season, despite being a freshman, he’s shown that he could create a positive impact on the team when everything is clicking. After starting a few games, he’s struggled to shoot but is still a good rebounder for his size, and has elite quickness and agility. 

Grade: B-

Antwone Woolfolk: (3.7 PPG, 3.4 RPG, 0.6 APG, 49.0 FG%, 20.0 3PT%)

Woolfolk has been a serviceable backup big man behind Cliff Omoruyi, but hasn’t shown signs of being a dominant replacement for next season. He can eat up Cliff’s minutes well and has been for the most part solid. 

Grade: C

Oskar Palmquist: (2.6 PPG, 1.7 RPG, 0.4 APG, 39.5 FG%, 26.1 3PT%)

Palmquist has looked lost on the court at times during the season, and will hit the occasional three pointer, but not as well of a rate that he did last season. His defense seems to be all out of sorts and doesn’t get many minutes as he did at the end of last season either. 

Grade: D

To sum everything up, the team’s overall outlook is middling, with only a couple of players standing out over the others. There have been many disappointments, especially on the offensive end. Many of the guys that were expected to be starters have lost minutes, and have not scored very well at all. The common theme in these grades have been inconsistency, which is the biggest issue for the team this season. One game, one player will be the leading scorer, and then the next, another guy, and then continued. Need to have consistent players, a reliable go-to guy, and a somewhat consistent offense as a team to win some games in the Big Ten.