Rutgers vs. Villanova: Big East Basketball Preview

Feb 22, 2012; Milwaukee, WI, USA; Rutgers Scarlet Knights forward Gilvydas Biruta (55) during the game against the Marquette Golden Eagles at the Bradley Center. Marquette defeated Rutgers 82-65. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-US PRESSWIRE

Sitting at 5-11 in the Big East, but coming off a huge win at Seton Hall, Rutgers has opportunity laying ahead of itself. The struggling Villanova Wildcats come to the RAC followed by the St. John's Red Storm. Both teams have not had great Big East seasons, and these are the kinds of games a team on the rise should take advantage of. Adding to that, the Scarlet Knights have a chance to get momentum heading into the Big East Tournament.

Keys to the Nova game after the jump...

1. Control the Tempo: When most people say this, they mean slow the game down, and draw out half court possessions. This is not necessarily what I mean in terms of this Rutgers team. This means they need to pick their spots. Rutgers needs to know when to take a long, smart offensive possession, and they need to know when to fast break. They did this for a few brilliant spurts against the Pirates. They needs to replicate that formula tomorrow.

2. Keep Gilvydas Biruta Involved: The Wildcats are the kind of team Gil should be able to eat alive. As longs as Myles Mack, Eli Carter, and Jerome Seagears keep getting him the ball in quality situations, he should be able to score a ton. Especially with the level of play he's been bringing since Syracuse. He also needs to keep out of foul trouble.

3. Rebound: Villanova is a good rebounding team. Rutgers needs to make sure they find a body and box out no matter what kind of defense they're playing. Whether they try to fluster Nova with the zone or the switching man to man, they need to make sure they finish a defensive possession off by coming away with the ball.

4. Forget Jonathan Mitchell: The Wildcats sure won't forget the classic game from last year, but Rutgers needs to. This is an entirely different Scarlet Knight team, and the ones who were still around can't sit around and wait for a hero to show up. They can't wait for a miracle finish. They just need to win.

5. Dane Miller, Dane Miller, Dane Miller: Whatever you ate or drank before the Hall game... just do it again.

The game is at 9 pm tomorrow. It's on TV, but you can also check out RU alum Danny Breslauer filling in for Chris Carlin on the Rutgers Radio Network.

It's his first game, so get out and support the kid.

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