The matchup against Providence is a winnable game for the Scarlet Knights. The RU defense has been playing very well and did a wonderful job against #7 Georgetown. Offense, the Knights need to make some breaks on offense, because with good balance between the two, Rutgers can finally get into the Big East win column. The game will be played in front of about 7,500 fans in the brand new and stunningly beautiful Dunkin Donuts Center in downtown Providence. Pleasing to the eye, the arena holds about 12,500 fans for basketball, featuring its own top end luxury box accommodations. It certainly could serve as a partial model for a brand new RAC.
The Providence Friars:
The Friars are a guard dominated team, which seems to go along with the latest trend in college basketball. They will start 3 guards, plus one swingman, along with one of their 4 rotating power forward/swingmen/centers. They have been built along the lines of a typical Big East team with great athleticism, balance and solid game playing abilities. They feature 4 starters averaging 11.1 to 13.4 points per game, a very balanced scoring attack. Guards #13 Weyinmi Efejuku (65 210), #1 Jeff Xavier (61 185) and #23 Brian McKenzie (64 205) will team with G/F Swing player #11 Geoff McDermott (68 235) as the core of the starting 5 players. In the paint, and up front they will rotate four players #32 Randall Hanke (611 240), #34 Jonathan Kale (68 245), #33 Charles Burch (67225) or #15 Jamine Peterson (66 225). As a team, Providence will spread it around and statistics show they have been hitting 45.5% from the field, with 37.2% on 3pt attempts and 69.3% from the line. About one third of their shots will be from the cheap seats. Defensively they feature a lot of speed, defenses changing between man and zone, and will look for the steal. Jeff Xavier has posted 40 steals on the year, followed by Brian McKenzies 27 pickoffs.
What Rutgers Needs To Do:
#1. RU needs to continue playing solid defense.
#2. RU needs to find some scoring. Maybe this should be #1.
Corey Chandler should have received some additional practice time since Saturday, and if hes ready, should be seeing additional minutes against the Friars. Guard Anthony Farmer is really coming on strong and it shows with his confidence while running the offense and his choice of better shots. Mike Coburn and Courtney Nelson are warming up well and will offer some nice options on the court. Im still waiting for Justin Sofman to prepare himself for playing, and hit some sorely needed accurate 3 pointers. Forward Earl Pettis is slowly gaining the confidence of the staff and teammates alike and is becoming a welcome force on the floor. JR Inman along with Jaron Griffin still seem to be struggling finding their roles on this team. JR needs to forget about the past and simply play for now, scoring points, playing defense and once again becoming a team leader for the Scarlet. Jaron has steadily improved with his passing and assists, and is working himself into the offense, but needs to fight the urge to shoot too many three pointers. The big H had a tremendous game against All-American Roy Hibbert from Georgetown, by holding him to a mere 6 points and 4 rebounds. I expect him to continue his dogged growth to stardom against the Friars. Byron Joynes will be playing against a frontline that suits his style and may have a solid game as well. Im enjoying Fred Hills man on defense with a zone played under the basket, as it continues to confuse college offenses. Rutgers must stay in the faces of Xavier and Mckenzie, the most adept of the long bombers.
I feel Rutgers and Providence match up well, and the Knights have an opportunity
to step up and win a Big East game. Theyve had respectable outings against
two highly ranked opponents and need to believe this game can be theirs
for the taking..