Preview MBB: Rutgers vs. Villanova

Jay Wright and his Villanova Wildcats will be traveling up the NJ Turnpike on Wednesday, January 23, to take on the Scarlet Knights and his former Associate Head Coach Fred Hill. Tipoff at the RAC is set for 7:00 pm. Playing at home following a 2 game road trip, the Knight's are looking forward to giving Villanova all they've got.

Villanova is generally recognized as one of the glamour programs of the Big East.  The 25th ranked Wildcats will enter the RAC sporting an overall 13-3 record.  They are once again an extremely athletic team that plays with a passion for the game, but most importantly plays together at both ends of the court.   Although they are led by explosive sophomore star Scottie Reynolds, Villanova has a very balanced scoring attack which usually features contributions from at least nine different players.  Four of the nine, including Reynolds, are legitimate three point threats.  They are one of the younger teams in the Big East with absolutely no senior players to be found amongst their group of thirteen.

PROBABLE STARTERS:

G -  #1  - Scottie Reynolds  (6’2” 190  SO) – 17.5ppg,  three pt threat, good foul shooter, a real team leader

G -  #3  - Malcolm Grant      (6’0” 175  FR) -  7.3ppg,  is 24-49 on 3’s, hits 82% of ft’s.

F  -  #0  - Antonio Pena        (6’8” 235  rsFR) – 7.1ppg, a solid overall player, hitting 57% from the paint

F  - #33 – Dante Cunningham (6’8” 230 JR) – 10.8ppg, big time rebounder, shooting 55% from the paint

F  - #20 – Shane Clark           (6’7”  205 JR) – 9.9ppg, good rebounder, another three point threat

BENCH RELIEF:

G - #10 – Corey Fisher         (6’1” 200  FR) – 11.7ppg, three pt threat, first off the bench, budding star from St Pats

G - #15 – Reggie Redding   (6’5” 205  SO) -  5.9ppg, second guard off the bench

G - #24 – Corey Stokes        (6’5” 220  FR) – 2.9ppg, working his way onto the floor, former St Benedicts star

C -  #5 - Casiem Drummond (6’10” 270 SO) – 6.3ppg, from Bloomfield Tech, dominates in the paint while on the floor

The Scarlet Knights proved they really can shoot the ball during an exciting 73-75 loss to DePaul.  They have played relentless defense throughout the year. They have caused some problems for some highly ranked teams and at times they have been fun to watch.   JR Inman and Anthony Farmer have been the emerging stars for the Scarlet and must be the leaders against the Wildcats. 

Plagued by mental and physical lapses during the season, Rutgers as a team, needs to feel and believe they are on the verge of playing a “complete” game.  They’ve shown bits and pieces everywhere, but just need to fit them together.

The early schedule for Villanova was not very difficult indeed, and currently they have struggled at times while recording a 3-2 Big East mark.  They are a very young team which can be disrupted and forced into making mistakes.

Maybe the Knights have been pressuring themselves.  Maybe they need to get into a flow and have fun.  Play for pride and play to win.  See you at the game.  


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