Someone's got to win. The two teams have combined to lost 11 straight. Seton Hall comes to the RAC limping. Rutgers is down on its luck.
Most fans are down on both teams.
But every year, this is a fun, crazy game. From Herb Pope's head butt to Jerome Seagears overtime 3 pointers. From JR Inman at the buzzer to Andre Barrett at nearly half court. These two teams don't like each other.
Now they both want--no need--a win.
So how can Rutgers get it?
1. Play a Full 40 Minutes: In every game during this losing streak (and even when they win) Rutgers has gone cold offensively. And, they try to force it. Mistake upon mistake pile up and the other team goes on a run. Rutgers needs to keep their head for a full 40 minutes. Play controlled. Grind it out, and win.
2. No, seriously, grind it out: Okay, all year I've said Rutgers plays better when they play fast. And RU will need to take advantage of any leak outs they get (hint, hint, pressure the ball, SHU turns it over a ton). But Seton Hall is thin and beaten up with injuries. If Rutgers grinds the game out, their depth should overcome Seton Hall.
3. Yeah, they're thin, but don't take this game lightly: The Hall are 2-9 in the Big East, but that record is deceptive. They have played everyone tight. The other day, they ripped off a 16-0 run on UConn. They were in it with Pitt until the last two minutes. They are going to take this game seriously. Rutgers needs to too. Come on, SHU has won 5 straight at the RAC. Time to end that streak.
4. Let Eugene Teague Score: The big man is a load down low, and he's smooth. Rutgers' interior defense has been good, but the guards should try to force the ball into him. If Teague is scoring, then the Pirates aren't hitting 3 pointers. That's a good thing.
5. Drive to Hoop and Get to the Line: Myles Mack and Eli Carter are two of the best free throw shooters in the Big East, but haven't gotten to the line with any consistency this year. They have to. It'll put a damper on SHU's "depth" and it's FREE POINTS. Stop looking for 3s and drive to the hoop.
Here's Matt Hladik's video of Mike Rice meeting the press. Interesting quote from Rice. When asked if Seton Hall winning five straight at the RAC motivates the Knights, Rice replied, "What motivates me may not motivate the younger genration."