Previewing West Virginia: Rutgers Basketball Game 28

Note: this post is from Dave.

They've had five days off to fill their tanks. 

After taking a drubbing from Louisville, it really looked like the undermanned Rutgers squad was out of gas.  But now, Bob Huggins and a team that needs to win to get its name back into the NCAA talk come to the RAC. 

So, what can a Rutgers squad to to get a win and keep their goal of 7 Big East victories alive?

Find out after the jump...

Match WVU's intensity and physicality...West Virginia needs this one.  After getting beat in Pittsburgh the other night, they are going to come out looking for a road win.  Rutgers is going to have to come out as hard.  The Scarlet Knights have had high intensity in most of their games, which was why Tuesday's loss to Louisville was so shocking.  If the Knights come out asleep again, they'll be out of the game early.  Again.  It's senior day, so that probably won't be a problem.

Get an early lead... While it'll be hard to believe West Virginia will give up in this game, getting a lead is paramount for two reasons.  One, it's going to make West Virginia desperate to come back and--with RU's defense--could force them into bad shots.  WVU isn't a great shooting team, and if they rush, they'll be in trouble.  Plus, getting an early lead will boost Rutgers confidence.  They were never in the game against the Cardinals, so jumping out of the gates will only help.

REBOUND...The Mountaineers don't make a lot of shots usually.  The ball is going to be bouncing around.  Rutgers is going to have to finish off possessions and get the ball to head upcourt.  WVU is a tough team, and they always rebound hard.  If Rutgers can stay in the rebounding battle, they'll be in the game.

Control tempo on offense....As usual, Rutgers is going to have to get great shots.  Gilvydas Biruta is going to be in for a battle with Deniz Killci.  James Beatty and Mike Coburn will have their hands full with Joe Mazzulla.  They're going to have to use solid ball movement to avoid these players and make their open shots.  Jonathan Mitchell is going to have to rebound from a subpar (for him) game.

Game is at noon at the RAC.  Get there early and support your seniors!

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