Notre Dame is now number 23 in the nation. Rutgers has lost 3 straight. Notre Dame remembers losing to Rutgers earlier in the season, Mike Brey has his team's attention.
It's a tough row to hoe for the Scarlet Knights.
Keys after the jump...1. Find that Second Wind: The freshman guards Myles Mack, Eli Carter, and Jerome Seagears have logged a ton of minutes each night while learning on the job. They may have hit the legendary freshman wall. For the team to have any chance the rest of the way, these guards are going to have to find their stroke again and their killer instinct. No more forced threes. Run an offense, play smart, and play tough.
2. Make Shots: This seems like a simple post, but for Rutgers lately, it isn't. They have to worry less about hitting a big three out of the flow of the offense and worry about using their speed to get in the lane and then to the hoop. Feed the big men early, and give them some confidence. Score in transition. Get to the line and make your free throws.
3. Poise: Too often, when the opposition makes a run, Rutgers responds with quick forced threes. If they go in, great, but too often it's a miss and a run out for the opposition. Rutgers has to stay in their offense and not panic. Tough, still, for the young guys, but maturation really has to start now.
4. Close out: You don't want to give Eric Atkins a clean look from beyond the arc. In fact, you don't want to give any of the Fighting Irish's guards a look from deep. Stick to your man, fight through screens and keep them covered. ND can hit threes in bunches. If this game turns into a shootout from deep, RU loses.
5. Dane Miller, Dane Miller, Dane Miller: Times are rough, Dane. Time to lead and let everyone else follow. An alley-oop early would be nice.
Game's at 7 on SNY, Wednesday night.