Rutgers travels down the Turnpike--or Route 1 depending on the route they take--to face the 5-13 (0-7) Temple Owls. Rutgers beat Temple to open conference play when Junior Etou made a lay-up and the ensuing free throw. Since then, Temple has given a couple of teams fits (including Cincinnati), but has been unable to get in the win column.
Here are the keys:
Which Rutgers Shows Up?: If the Rutgers who played UConn, Temple, UCF, and Louisville shows up, the Scarlet Knights should be in good shape. If it's the Texas Two-Step Rutgers . . . or worse, they're in trouble.
Match Temple's Intensity: You know the Owls are looking at this game as a potential win. They are going to come out hungry and hustling. Rutgers isn't good enough to take anyone lightly (see FDU), and they have yet to win a road game. Not to mention, they've lost 3 in a row themselves. They need to match or exceed the Owls' intensity.
Limit One of Temple's Scorers: Quenton DeCosey and Dalton Pepper both got hot at Rutgers last time. In his last game, Pepper went off from beyond the arc. DeCosey is just as good, and a Jersey boy. Rutgers has to slow one of them, at the very least.
Kadeem Consistency, Mack Re-Emergence: Kadeem Jack showed up against UConn with a double double. Myles Mack only scored 6. Clearly, Rutgers needs both of them going tomorrow night. Add a sprinkle of Jerome Seagears and a dash of Junior Etou, and you might have something.
Winnable game for Rutgers, but it is no slam dunk. Rutgers better bring their A game.