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Rutgers vs. LSU: Basketball Preview Game 8

This match-up is part of the Big East/SEC Challenge as the LSU Tigers come to the RAC. These two teams are both 4-3, and the match-up is pretty even. Rutgers will have to deal with a big front line and some seniors who have been clutch down the stretch.

What does RU have to do to win? Find out after the jump...

1. Don't Get Pushed Around Down Low: With rumors Malick Kone could miss the game, Rutgers is going to be pretty thin in the front court. Austin Johnson, Dane Miller, and Gilvydas Biruta are going to have to stay out of foul trouble, and Derrick Randall and Greg Lewis will probably have to play the game of their lives. LSU starts a 7 foot center and will want to attack the basket. Freshman forward Johnny O'Bryant has made an impact for the Tigers and is going to be a challenge for the Scarlet Knights.

2. Don't Foul: LSU has been very good from the line, shooting nearly 80 percent. Rutgers has been prone to fouling. This needs to change, because you can't give a good free throw shooting team too many opportunities. They will take advantage.

3. Get Fouled: At the same time, RU has to attack the basket on offense and create contact. The team needs to get to the line-particularly Myles Mack and Dane Miller. Once at the line, the team needs to make them. You can't afford to miss the front ends of 1 and 1s in this game.

4. Box out and Get the Key Rebound: Again, this points toward the size difference between the two teams. Having a healthy Kadeem Jack would really help at this point. Rutgers is going to be the smaller team in this game. Everyone is going to have to crash the boards, especially the guards. Jerome Seagears pulled in 10 rebounds against UMBC the other night. Another performance like that would be extremely welcome.

5. Dane Miller: Time to be selfish on the offensive end. If Miller doesn't score tonight, Rutgers is going to be in big trouble. With Kone sitting, RU is losing out on about 6 points per game. Miller needs to make up for that. Drive and get to the line. Show off the improved jump shot. Hit the floater in the lane. It doesn't matter, Miller just needs to score. Especially if leading scorer Biruta is in foul trouble.

BONUS: Check out this article on Mike Rice's Defensive Philosophy. Per Jerry Carino.