Rutgers travels pretty far for a noon start tomorrow. They will be in the frigid mid-west to take on the Richard Pitino led Minnesota Gophers. The Gophers won 25 games last season, but are struggling right now, sitting at 0-5 in the Big Ten.
1. Is this real life? What a week so far for the Rutgers Scarlet Knights. Beating #4 Wisconsin and then hanging tough on the road with ranked Maryland. But, if Rutgers has really turned the corner, we'll find out tomorrow. You know the Gophers are licking their lips at the prospect of getting a win against Rutgers. And Rutgers may be worn down after two emotional games. But if they can hang in this one and even steal a win, who knows what the ceiling will be.
2. What to do about the guards? As I said, this team has Pitino blood in it, which means pressing, pressing, pressing, quick guards, and pressing. That leads to a bad match-up for the Scarlet Knights. Frustrating Myles Mack is the key to beating Rutgers and if Mack can't hold on to the ball (or Bishop Daniels or Mike Williams), Rutgers could be in for a long afternoon.
3. Will you please attack the rim? Kadeem Jack, the light bulb has gone on. Even though he only scored 9 against Maryland, they were all in the form of going to the hoop. Junior Etou took a few long jumpers, and missed a key lay-up however. He needs to get in the mix. MOAR DUNKS MOAR BETTER.
4. What's up, rebounding? What about you free throws? It's how you win on the road. You don't give the other team a chance to get going, so grabbing the ball on the first try takes a team out of a game. And then getting to the line and making your free throws will be the way to take advantage. Listen, the Gophers are going to be fired up tomorrow, but if Rutgers can put a scare into them they might curl up in a ball and go away. Make your free throws and secure the ball is a good way to do it.
5. Is this a hot shooting streak or the real thing? The past two games, Myles Mack has been just plain on fire. That fire seemed to catch to Mike Williams as well. Rutgers needs a 3rd scorer and if Mike can be that three point threat, that will be key for the upset. Upset you say? Yeah, Minnesota is favored by 13 points.
Game is at noon tomorrow on BTN. I will be out, so good ol' Kevin Recio will have your recap.