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Previewing Princeton: Rutgers Basketball Game 1

Someone steal the cannon! 

Mike Rice is officially starting his tenure tonight as he brings the Scarlet Knights to Princeton for the first game of the year.

What can RU expect from the Tigers?  Find out after the jump . . .

Last year, at the RAC, Rutgers came away with a 58-44 win.  This season, without Hamady N'Diaye and Mike Rosario, the team will be challenged to find consistent scoring.

The Tigers haven't been to the NCAA tournament since 2004, <a href="http://www.nj.com/rutgersbasketball/index.ssf/2010/11/2010-11_ncaa_basketball_season.html">their longest drought since they missed seven years between 1969 and 1976</a>.  After going 22-9 (11-3 in the Ivy League), Princeton comes into this season as the favorite to win their league.

Always a frustrating team, Princeton runs the . . . wait for it . . . Princeton offense, which relies on backdoor cuts, milking the shot clock, and--if it's there--taking the three.  This could work against Rutgers, since they're a team learning a new defense--an in your face half court pressure style.  Princeton loves to play against a defense like that because overplaying often leaves the backdoor cut open. 

Defensively, look for Princeton to slow the game down and muck up the flow.  These games are never pretty, the score usually in the 40s or 50s.

Last year, guard Douglas Davis lead the team in scoring.  Reports say he has a strong outside shot.  James Beatty will probably match-up against him as <A href="http://www.collegesports-fans.com/basketball-previews/2010-2011-previews/princeton-tigers-preview.html">he is projected to be the starting PG this year</a>.  Patrick Saunders, F, is a co-captain this year and can cause match-up problems with his outside shot as well.

This is a tough challenge for Rutgers, right out of the gate, especially on the road.  Look for a low scoring game that will come down to the last few minutes.