After a disappointing effort, Rutgers tries to bounce back against #25 Louisville. Louisville is a bit beat up this year. After starting the year as a pre-season favorite in the Big East, they've plummeted in the rankings a bit. Peyton Siva is still a force to be reckoned with, and Rick Pitino teams always shoot the ball well from long range.
Tough match-up for Rutgers, on the road. Keys to the game after the jump...1. Break the Press and Penetrate the Zone: The Cardinals have always pressed teams and forced turnovers. When they do, they make you pay with 3s in transition. Rutgers' young guards are going to have to play smart. When they get the ball over the halfcourt line, you have to penetrate at least to the free throw line. Myles Mack's teardrop worked early in the Providence game, and that would be a powerful weapon here.
2. Control Tempo: Rutgers needs to pick its spots to run and make lay-ups. At the same time, they need to play a grueling half court game, basically execute the gameplan they didn't against the Friars. Run Louisville players through screens and wear them out. Get fouled or make shots late in the shot clock. Exhaust Louisville so they don't have their legs at the end of the game.
3. Feed the Big Men: Gilvydas Biruta, Derrick Randall, and Austin Johnson have to get touches. Lay-ups, dunks, and 1s. They need to be in the offense. That will open it up for Eli Carter and Mack from deep later in the game. Don't be jacking shots, just to throw 'em up. Execute a smart offense. Get to the line.
4. Close Out: If the Cardinals are going to beat Rutgers, force them to do it from inside. Don't let Kyle Kuric get open and shoot the three. Force them to get the ball inside and battle with RU's big men. Close out on the three point shooters and make them uncomfortable.
5. Dane Miller, Dane Miller, Dane Miller: As he goes, so go the Scarlet Knights.
Game is available on SNY at 4 pm. Bounce back from the Friar game, please.