Here they come again.
Seton Hall is coming to the RAC tonight. They're coming off a loss to UConn where they blew a ten point lead in the last few minutes. Jordan Theodore is still angry over losing to RU at the ROCK. He's guaranteed a win.
Rutgers is coming off a season defining win over Villanova. The rivalry continues.
Keys to the game after the jump....Dane Miller needs to be in Jeremy Hazell's grill... It worked so well the last time. Miller has become Rutgers best defender, and he's so long that he can really frustrate Hazell. Force him into bad shots, make him rush, or even better: deny the ball. SHU's other players aren't good enough 3 point shooters to make up for Hazell being off.
Gang Rebound... This has been a key all season. Rutgers has been doing a good job on the glass, but Herb Pope is a beast, and Jeff Robinson is pretty good too. The Scarlet Knights have to find a player and put a body on him. Box out.
Be Patient on Offense... Follow the forumla. Share the ball, find the open player, use shot clock. Wait for the perfect shot, because most likely it'll open up. A second and third scorer would be nice too. Jonathan Mitchell has been carrying this team, but James Beatty needs to keep hitting threes. Dane Miller has to keep going to the basket, and Gilvydas Biruta needs to make his lay-ups and dunks.
Forget Villanova.... That's probably the wrong way of phrasing it. Rutgers has to use the energy they gained off the game and ride it into another game. They can't rest on their laurels and come out emotionally flat. They have to keep building. In many ways, this game is bigger than the 'Nova game because there is room for a letdown. If this was another middling Big East team and not Seton Hall, I'd be really worried about it. Jordan Theodore has promised an SHU win. That should be motivation enough.
The students need to be loud from the tip... The RAC is starting to come back and tonight can be another step in re-building a fearful home court. SHU went into Syracuse and won. They can get hot, but they also seem to be an emotionally fragile team. They've folded up the tents a few times, and the meltdown against UConn was frightening. Rutgers has been coming back all season. A loud student section can only help.
This is going to be a war tonight. A sellout is expected at the RAC. I'll finally be back in my seats.
7 pm ESPNU.