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Syracuse - Rutgers Preview

Syracuse students agree: Rutgers isn't looking so hot these days.
Man, Rutgers Basketball has got some problems. One of their best players, and their second leading scorer has been out for the year with a detached retina. Oh yeah, and he just decided to transfer too. Greg Echenique, a pretty good center, will no longer play for Rutgers. Couple this with former players wishing the demise of Fred Hill and you have a sticky situation for the head coach of the Rutgers men's basketball program. Let's face it, Rutgers really hasn't been a threat to the top teams of the league since losing future NBA player Quincy Douby. He was a decent orange juicer if there ever was one, and some of those games in the RAC with Hakim Warrick, Gerry McNamara, and yes even Carmelo Anthony, ended in a loss. Those days seem like forever ago with the slow but steady decline of this once decent Big East program. That is the backdrop for which the #5 Syracuse Orange travel to New Jersey to take on this fading program. Syracuse enters the game coming out of what was their worst stretch of games all season, playing poorly against Pittsburgh, as well as Memphis. They finally snapped out of it against USF on Sunday, but that is a team that is 0-3 in the conference. Good news for Syracuse is that Rutgers is also 0-3 in the conference, already losing to Cincinnati, #9 West Virginia, and Providence. Rutgers plays some decent defense, only allowing opponents to score 67.4ppg, only about three more per game than Syracuse. Rutgers' problem is offense however, as they only score 67.9ppg, as supposed to the 85.5ppg that Syracuse drops. Rutgers PG Mike Rosario is the one legitimate talent on the team who averages 16.1ppg and shoots 33.7% from outside the arc. He is a good player and Rutgers will have to put the ball in his hands a lot if they want to have a chance in this one. Their next leading scorer is PF Jonathan Mitchell who transferred from Florida to Rutgers (Editor's Note: Why?!?) and is averaging 10.5ppg and 4.9rpg who is a good player and will look to challenge Rick Jackson and Arinze Onuaku down low. The weakness in Syracuse lately has been committing dumb turnovers they haven't in weeks past (especially Brandon Triche and Andy Rautins) and not covering three point shooters as well as they have been. This will need to change. Although Rutgers is no North Carolina, they will have to step up and guard Rosario and force shooters that are not as comfortable to take those long shots. It will be difficult for Rutgers to penetrate the zone defense, so they will be taking a lot of outside shots. Making sure some random player does not have a career night falls on everyone, but mostly the two up front in the zone. If they can keep composure, no matter what guard combination is in front, then Syracuse will have a very good chance in blowing Rutgers out at home. Andy Rautins having a nice day will not hurt either. Wes Johnson will be Wes and probably score at least 19 points as he has the past two games, but the key in this game will be taking care of the ball and taking care of the glass. The Syracuse defense will do what it has been known to do for most of the season. Rutgers is too untalented to stretch the defense of Syracuse the way Pittsburgh, and even Memphis, did. Syracuse will roll in the RAC in front of what I assume will be a 95% orange covered crowd by 22, completing the Rutgers sweep for the year.

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3 Responses to “Syracuse - Rutgers Preview”

  1. # Anonymous Anonymous

    95 percent Orange?

    My gosh, you're delusional.

    It was 50/50 last year on a Saturday night.

    In years past, there have never been more than 1,500 or so SUck fans.

    You have a nice, little program but relax a bit.  

  2. # Blogger Brian Harrison

    If you thought that was 50/50 then you're teh delusional one. Guaranteed it's more SU fans there tonight, Anonymous.  

  3. # Blogger Brian Harrison

    Oh yeah, and if Syracuse is a "nice little program" what does that make Rutgers?  

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