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Rutgers Men's Basketball Game Preview: George Washington

Jim O'Connor-USA TODAY Sports

How To Watch

TV: 4:30 on CBS Sports Network

Radio: Rutgers IMG Radio Network WOR (710 AM) & WCTC (1450 AM); WRSU (88.7 FM); Sirius Radio channel 136; XM Radio channel 196

Spread: GW -19.5

About George Washington

The Colonials are off to a 8-1 start this season, owning victories over #10 Virginia, Tennessee, Seton Hall and Penn State.  Their lone loss was to #22 Cincinnati by 5 points. They have players from Argentina, Denmark, and Japan and play with a free flowing style. All their bigs can shoot and pass, with five players averaging 2 assists or more a game and they shoot 46% as a team. They are led by junior forward Tyler Cavanaugh who averages 15 points and 8 rebounds a game.  Senior forward Kevin Larsen averages 10 points, 7 rebounds, 3 assists, 1 steal and 1 block a game.  Rutgers will need to contain these two players from wrecking havoc in the paint. Senior guard Patricio Garino is shooting an insane 62% from three-point range on 22 attempts.  GW can score in bunches, spread the basketball around and take good shots.

Keys to the Game:

Play Smart

GW is a veteran team that can wear you down in a methodical manner, forcing their opponent to become undisciplined.  Rutgers has to work for good shots and not get impatient.  Corey Sanders needs to get everyone involved early, moving the ball around and making the extra pass.  On defense, they need to force GW to work for every basket, not giving up easy points in the paint.  Limiting turnovers and fouls are hugely important to prevent any sustained runs by GW.  They cannot have any momentary lapses of focus because GW will make them pay if they do.

Frontcourt Production

Greg Lewis, D.J. Foreman and Ibrahima Diallo face a difficult test today and need to be ready.  Rutgers really needs a breakout game from Foreman. He has been steady all year, but hasn't scored more than 11 points in a game this season. He needs to play aggressive and demand the ball from Sanders.  Lewis has done a good job calling for the ball in the paint at times, he just hasn't finished consistently. Diallo shot it a season high 8 times against Central Connecticut State, but has yet to establish himself as a reliable scorer.  On defense, all three players must hold their ground, not allow easy baskets at the rim and stay out of foul trouble.

Shoot the Lights Out

The truth is for Rutgers to have a shot today, they must shoot the ball the best they have all season.  Mike Williams and Bishop Daniels need to show up in a big way.  GW is a big team and expect them to pack the paint, forcing Rutgers to shoot from deep early.  Williams, Sanders, Grier and Goode need to hit some three's today for Rutgers to stay in it, which will help open up space in the paint and lanes to drive. If they start the game cold, it will be a long night.

Freshman Lead

The players held a team meeting after their loss to Seton Hall and Sanders seemed to be most affected by it.  He played his best game of the season on Tuesday and spoke about how important it was that all the players spoke their minds and cleared the air.  He has said all the right things since coming to Rutgers and it's clear he has now taken the keys to the car.  Sanders needs to play with high energy right from the tip-off, making a point to rally this team and get everyone involved.  Jonathan Laurent is quickly blossoming the past few games and needs to play aggressive today.  Both players have the ability to score in bunches and need to take the game to GW.  With seniors Daniels and Omari Grier struggling to lead on the court much of this season, it's time for Sanders and Laurent to take over.