After an electrifying win over Vanderbilt last night, Rutgers has to prepare for the number 8 team in the country in the Virginia Cavaliers. And the Rutgers Scarlet Knights are going to be short handed. I
1. How wiped out are Myles Mack and Kadeem Jack? Both were brilliant against the Commodores, but both played the full 40 minutes. It was clear Jack was worn down, limping late in the second half--but still managed to dig deep and score the game winning lay-up. Mack's exhaustion was a key point in the St. Peter's loss as the Peacocks harassed his tired legs. Look for Virginia to try and do the same.
2. Will we see Khalil Batie and Jake Dadika? Bishop Daniels hurt his ankle badly last night, and is out for tonight's game and the game against Clemson as well. That means Rutgers has three scholarship guards active for tonight's game in Mack, Mike Williams (who played great last night), and Kerwin Okoro. There's not much depth there, and Jordan could opt to play Malik Kone at shooting guard, but the walk-ons might get some times as well.
3. Has the offense started to click? Rutgers, for the most part, ran a smart, patient offense. Last in the first half, the Scarlet Knights forgot how to play it and went to quick shots, causing an 11 point lead to disappear in minutes. But once it got back to being patient and picking their spots, they were able to build a lead again. Virginia plays a suffocating defense and patience will be needed.
4. Can tired legs stay in front of players on D? Rutgers needs to keep focusing on defense, and it's probably prudent to play a zone. The Cavaliers are going to want to wear down Rutgers by running them through screens and picks, and playing physical. A zone can counter act that. Now, let's hope Virginia is cold from beyond the arc.
5. Is DVR-Dave a curse? Last night, I was out for personal reasons and didn't catch the game until later, via DVR. It's the same story tonight. If Rutgers wins tonight, I've promised to do the same thing for the rest of the season. Am I the curse? Is that possible?
The game will air around 9:30 on NBC Sports Network.