So, what can Rutgers do to pull out their first Big East win?
Take a look after the jump...-Rutgers is going to have to control the tempo. This is going to be a recurring theme game in and game out. The Scarlet Knights just don't have the horses to keep up in a track meet. And besides Brooks, Providence has players like Vincent Council and freshman Gerard Coleman who can get out and run. Rutgers must follow their formula, and take the opportunities that are given to them: share the ball, move without the ball, use the shot clock, and make easy baskets. Against Marquette, Rutgers missed a ton of chippies. Gotta make those tonight.
-Rebound, rebound, rebound. After the first few minutes, Rutgers did a good job of keeping up on the boards with Marquette. They are going to have to keep that attitude up. Over the past few years, one of the biggest holes in the team has been getting the key defensive rebound. Too often the team has gotten a stop on defense when they needed it, only to give up an offensive rebound. With two big men, Brooks and Jersey bred Bilal Dixon, averaging 8 boards a game, Rutgers is going to have to work really hard to get that key stop and board.
-Force turnovers. Council and Brooks both average over 3 per game. RU's defense has been good at getting in the passing lanes. Keep it up tonight.
-Get the crowd into it. This is going to be tough. After years of losing, the students haven't exactly been loud this year. Even with a big crowd in the student section Wednesday night, they never really were able to make noise. And with a huge Jets game tonight, the students still on break, I'd expect the crowd to be smaller and certainly quieter. Give them a reason to scream. The Scarlet Knights need to come out fast and create some atmosphere in the building.
-Beat the refs. This is a post for another time, but I fully believe when building a program, you have to beat a team and the refs at some point. Almost all the teams coming to the RAC this year have more history that the Knights do. The refs know that. They also see a team that's played soft in the past trying to play tough man. They're gonna call ticky-tack fouls on you. Rise above that.
-Get Dane Miller and Jonathan Mitchell back on track. Rutgers is going to need as many players in double digit scoring tonight, and Providence doesn't play much defense.
Game is at 8 pm tonight. DVR the Jets. Get to the RAC.