Rutgers Hungry for Rematch with West Virginia

Fresh off a dominant victory on the road at Pittsburgh, Rutgers coach Mike Rice breaks down what went right for the Scarlet Knights and the Saturday afternoon rematch with West Virginia. Rutgers is hungry for a rematch with the Mountaineers after an ugly showing last week. Rice breaks down the details on the Big East conference call.

Embarrassed, hurt, angry. No one was more critical of the Rutgers basketball team against West Virginia than head coach Mike Rice.

Facing the Mountaineers for the second time in 10 days, Rice does not want a repeat of what his team showed at the Louis Brown Athletic Center.

"They punched us in the mouth and they punched us in the gut," Rice said. "Then they took the victory and walked out of the RAC. They literally just abused and beat up a young-minded and weak team. That team can rear its ugly head at any point, at any time in the Big East if we're not mentally ready, if we're not fully engaged in what we're trying to do."

The Mountaineers dropped the Scarlet Knights, 85-64, in the second-worst home loss in Rice's tenure.

"It's certainly fresh in our minds," Rice said. "When we show the six conventional, three-point plays, them pounding their chest and embarrassing our little boys at the RAC the other night, it's probably a little fresh in our mind.

"I think they're embarrassed more than anything. ... Take your pick on their bigs destroying our bigs. You just have to go in there with a better, tougher mentality."

In the loss to West Virginia, junior forward Dane Miller came under fire after playing just 11 minutes and having little-to-no impact on the game.

Miller responded with energy in huge wins over Connecticut and Pittsburgh, averaging 9.5 points and 8.5 rebounds in 28.5 minutes per game. According to Rice, Miller took the game off against WVU, but responded the right way.

"It's an interesting kind of process getting Dane mentally ready for a game," Rice said. "He showed up three games in a row and we're going to certainly need him against West Virginia again. He took the night off last time against West Virginia."

West Virginia coach Bob Huggins said on the Big East conference call that Rutgers play of late impresses him. Hosting the Scarlet Knights Saturday, Huggins expects a challenge.

"Rutgers obviously has played extremely well since they've played us," Huggins said. "Mike's done a fantastic job and they compete so hard. They're always a really hard game I've got great respect for what Mike's done."

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