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Rutgers vs. Syracuse: Big East Basketball Preview

Rutgers is still reeling. Now the #2 team in the nation, a 1 loss Syracuse Orange team, rolls into the RAC. They're coming off a spirited win against Louisville. They go ten deep. Their bench players would contend to win the Big East.

Rutgers can't seem to put the ball in the hoop. The freshman look tired. When something bad happens in the game, Rutgers hasn't shown much poise recently and it gets worse.

So, does Rutgers stand a chance?

Find out the keys, and what they have to do to win after the jump...

1. Get Easy Buckets Early: Rutgers needs to build its confidence on the offensive end. Three point shots out of the rhythm of the offense will not help that. Lay-ups, driving into the lane, getting fouled and going to the line will. The big men need to see the ball early and go hard to the hoop. If the shots start to fall, the confidence will grow. Good offense is contagious.

2. Force Turnovers: It's part of the defense that Rutgers has been really good at. The guards, however, need to follow this up with fast break points. Too often, Rutgers hasn't capitalized on their strengths and gotten points on the board. If they want to stand any chance at winning today, they have to take advantage of their strengths.

3. Hold on to the Ball: Syracuse often scores off the fast break. Lately, RU has been turning the ball over more and more, because of a sloppy offense. This needs to be corrected today. The quicker and smarter the passing, the better off the Scarlet Knights will be.

4. Rebound: Because of the 2-3 zone, the Orange are not a great rebounding team. When the Scarlet Knights get a stop, they have to end the defensive possession right there. No 2nd chance points.

5. Dane Miller, Dane Miller, Dane Miller: Miller has been very consistent lately. He has to keep that up today. On offense, his key role will come at the foul line, where he can take advantage of both his court vision and the floater he's been developing. If Miller receives the ball at the foul line against the zone, he can allow the defense to collapse on him. Then he can either dish it off to the one of the guards--Eli Carter or Myles Mack for a 3. Or feed it inside to Gilvydas Biruta or Kadeem Jack for the lay-in or dunk. If the defense does not collapse on Miller, he basically shoot a free throw. Miller is the key to this game, assuming he is the one to set up at the foul line against the zone.