"We can't put out heads down at any point in the game,'' Ndiaye said. "I just play with a lot of energy. No matter what is going on in the game, no matter how much we're down or up, I keep playing with the same energy.
"That's one of the things I wish sometimes all my teammates would thrive off me and keep playing as hard as you can for 40 minutes. That's one of the main things.''
Rutgers is 14th in scoring average (67.5 ppg), 15th in field goal percentage (.426) and 11th in scoring defense (68.5 ppg), and Ndiaye isn't blind to those deficiencies.
He also believes there is more needed than scoring, rebounding and defending.
"Yes, we have to score more,'' he said. "Yes, we've got to play a lot more defense, but I think we have to play harder, a complete effort from everybody for 40 minutes. A lot of guys are giving their best, but I want to say everybody's got to do it.''
Perhaps most frustrating to the Scarlet Knights (9-8, 0-5 Big East) is the inability to take positive energy and performance from practices into games.
Rutgers had another spirited, intense session Tuesday, but will it translate into a strong outing against the Wildcats.
"We need to play how we practice,'' point guard James Beatty said. "We don't play how we practice. In games, we're not as aggressive and focused as we are in practice.
"We have great days of practice, compete against each other, we guard, we are aggressive on offense, but when we get in a game, we have a mental lapse.''
Rutgers is turning the ball over at an alarming rate, averaging 17.4 per game in Big East play. The Scarlet Knights are also last in the league in turnover margin at minus-2.47 per game.
The penchant to fall behind early has also been an issue, with the Scarlet Knights trailing by at least 17 points at the half in three of the last four games, largely because of poor shooting and defending.
"We've got to find a way to get some wins,'' Rutgers coach Fred Hill said. "Once that happens, it snowballs the other way. Right now we're pushing a big snowball up a hill. You've got to change that, and start rolling it down the hill. I think that's what Villanova has.
"They're not pushing the snowball up the hill. They're pushing it down the hill, and when we got there, we only had to push a snowball. We didn't have to push a boulder. We're pushing a boulder up the hill here.''
Despite the losing, which includes double-digit defeats in four of the six losses, Hill is optimistic about where the season, and the program, is heading.
"I was extremely confident, and still am, that we'll be very, very good,'' Hill said. "There's many instances of teams not winning one year and you can turn it around. We still are on track. …I don't expect anything different out of my guys. They don't expect anything different.
"They are the ones changing the culture. That is a process, and they've done a good job.''