Thursday, January 28, 2010

Rutgers Questions

From On the Banks of the Raritan:

1. It's been a rough month for Rutgers. What has gone wrong during this nine game losing streak?

RU is averaging 56.6 ppg through nine Big East games and its opposition is putting up 73.6 ppg. Mike Rosario is the team's only proven scorer and he's pretty easy to shut down when opposing teams know he's the only player that can explode offensively. As a result, Rosario has been pressing. He's shooting 27.5% from the floor. The team is turning the ball over way too much, averaging around 14 a game in league games. By the time they start to take better care of the basketball, they're often down 20 or more points.

2. How will the rest of the year go? Please tell me this isn't the second coming of 2009 DePaul.
Expectations aren't high. At least we have two games with DePaul this year. It worries me that DePaul somehow figured out to beat Marquette. Marquette has some real athletes. I hope we can manage at least a split with the Blue Demons, but a winless season in the Big East is a real possibility. Fred Hill won't be let go before the season ends, but he's losing the kids a bit more with each loss. He may have completely lost them at this point and that is sad for all involved.

3. Mike Rosario seems to be carrying the team with Echenique out. What has made him successful?
Rosario is struggling and until we get another guy to step up and consistently put points on the board, Rosario will continue to have a tough season. Mike has been scoring of late, 15 against Georgetown and 16 against Marquette, but he's still only shooting 41% from the floor. Unfortunately, we need him to drain shots with more efficiency. Teams are content to let him go 6-18 from long range.

4. Who else can step up to the plate to provide some additional scoring?
Junior Jonathan Mitchell and freshman Dane Miller have had big games. Miller went for 26 points against both Providence and Villanova while Mitchell struck for 21 against Georgetown. The problem is we can't get Rosario, Miller, and Mitchell to have solid games at the same time. Consistency is the problem. I expect one of them to lead the team in scoring while at least one of them will be a non-factor.

5. With no Echenique, does Rutgers have what it takes to stop Harangody in the post?
Hamady Ndiaye will give it all he's got, but if Notre Dame continually pounds the ball inside to Harangody it may get ugly. Harangody will likely get Ndiaye in foul trouble forcing RU to go to freshman Brian Okam. Okam will be overmatched and Harangody could have a monster game. Hopefully, Harangody will fall in love with the long-distance jumper against RU. In all likelihood, Harangody will have a great inside/out game. I just wonder who will be on hand to witness it. The team was selling $5 tickets. Never a good sign.

1 comment:

David said...

Needless to say, this is a must win game.

Rutgers always seems to play us tough. I think it was in '05, when we lost to Rutgers in the first-round of the BE tournament and got relegated to the NIT.