Two teams that have yet to gel take each other on at MSG tonight.
Rutgers is coming off a loss to Ole Miss, and Iona is coming off a loss to St. Peters (that sounds familiar). So, what does the squad have to do tonight to bring home a win? Keys:
1. Don't Play Zone: When I think of a zone defense and how you beat it, what comes to mind is the 3 pointer. And Iona's guards can shoot the three, particularly Sean Armand, who makes what feels like... all of them. Rutgers is really going to have to bear down and defend the perimeter and make the Gaels beat you on the inside. I'm not sure Rutgers' zone is good enough to do that yet.
2. Turnovers: This has to do with the guards again. Eli Carter, Jerome Seagears, and Myles Mack are going to have to take care of the ball. At the same time, Iona does a good job taking care of the ball, so Rutgers is really going to have to work to force some turnovers. That's been something of a weakness for the Scarlet Knights this year, so it really won't be easy tonight.
3. A Third Scorer, Again: Against Ole Miss, Dane Miller stepped up and filled the role, going 7 for 7 and netting 14 points. Someone is going to have to step up for Rutgers again, assuming Eli Carter gets rolling tonight. It'd be nice if Wally Judge could have a big game and regain some of that confidence.
4. Score Early: Rutgers always seems to play better defense when the shots appear to be going down. A few early scores will really help the team's confidence, and help shut down what could be a difficult Iona match-up.
5. Don't Foul: The loss against Ole Miss was a typical Mike Rice road loss. Too many fouls early really got the team out of rhythm. Once players started to foul out, the guards had to help down low and the perimeter was left open for 3s. If that happens tonight, it's lights out for the Scarlet Knights.