Mentor vs. protege.
Father against son.
There are a lot of storylines to follow in today's match-up, as St. Joe's coach Phil Martelli once had Mike Rice as an assistant, and his son Jimmy Martelli is a current Rutgers assistant. But what about the actual game?
Find out after the jump...Since their magical NCAA run in 2004, St. Joe's has been a middling team. They beat RU 71-62 in the 2006 NIT. This season, they're a young team with a 2-2 record. They had two common opponents as Rutgers, beating Norfolk St. by 5 and Fairfield by 9. RU beat both teams by fifteen points or more.
The Hawks are lead by sophomore guard Carl Jones who averages 14 pts a game. Senior forward Idris Hillard scores 11 pts and nets 5 and a half rebounds a game. According to the Star Ledger preview, Rutgers wants to force the Hawks into a jump shooting game. They want to keep the young team off balance, and not get into an offensive flow. In a game this early in the season, RU can capitalize on the fact their senior guards have been able to shut down bigger guards than the ones St. Joseph's has.
With two coaches with connections to the St. Joe's program, the Knights have the advantage in strategy. Odds are they know what the Hawks will do on both sides of the ball. The Hawks aren't particularly big. None of their starters are over 6'7", and they rank 190th in rebounding. They also rank 266th in the nation in points per game. But their freshman guards, including Langston Galloway, are talented and can get hot from the outside. And the game is at the legendary Palestra, in the Hawks' backyward.
On paper, this appears to be an even match-up for the Scarlet Knights. They'll have to bring their A game, but they're going to have to do that every night to be successful.
This game has the makings of another exciting match for the Knights.