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Previewing Notre Dame: Rutgers Basketball Game 23

Rutgers heads to South Bend, where it hasn't won since the Geoff Billet era. 

The Scarlet Knights are also coming off two heart wrenching losses, and their coach is worried about their ability to rebound from those games.  One of their seniors doesn't know how much more the team can take.  And another one could catch passes because he couldn't see.

Most of these are signs for trouble.  But what can the Scarlet Knights do to get a victory?

Find out after the jump...

Defend the 3-point shot...Notre Dame knocks down the 3 pointer with ease.  One of the weaknesses of Rutgers tenacious defense has been closing out on the 3 point shot.  If Rutgers can't do this and players like Tim Abromaitis and Ben Hansbrough get hot, RU will be in trouble.

 

Get James Beatty going... Beatty's gone cold again, his shot not going down.  With Jonathan Mitchell hurt (though not out of the game.  Will be very interesting to see how he responds today), Beatty is going to have to pick up the slack offensively.  Against St. John's, he got a ton of open looks, but couldn't get them to fall.  He'd better today, or the Knights are going to be in trouble.

Rebound, rebound, rebound... This has been a key to all the games this year, but is especially important today.  If ND is missing threes, the rebounds are going to be long ones.  The guards are going to have to get their hands on the ball to be successful, because a long rebound can often lead to an offensive rebound and another open 3.  Control the boards and this won't be a problem.

Get the ball to Gilvydas Biruta...Another player who's had trouble getting it going recently.  Biruta is appearing to hit a little bit of a freshman wall.  But if he's being defended by Tyrone Nash, he has an opportunity to get to the free throw line.  Nash, like Biruta, is foul prone, and Rutgers can use that to his advantage.  Easier said than done if he's being defended by Carleton Scott.

Get an early lead...ND is a undefeated at home this year.  Their crowd is going to be loud, especially if ND gets going.  If RU can get out to an early lead, it might take the crowd out of it and give RU a bit of a boost.

Going to be another tough one today.  Hopefully, Rutgers can keep playing hard and get over the hump.

Game is at noon today on MSG+.