– Rutgers is working on a special season, and by that I mean an absolute tire fire. They are 0-16. I believe the last time the conference saw a winless team in league play was Northwestern in 99-00. Before that you have to go back to NU in 1990-91. So this is a rare level of incompetence we’re witnessing from Eddie Jordan’s bunch. They are coming off a 39 point loss to those same Northwestern Wildcats. 39 points. To a team which has only won 6 league games themselves. They might be the worst power conference team I’ve ever seen. I remember those two Northwestern teams mentioned above…they were better than Rutgers is this season, and maybe by a considerable margin. I mean, the absolute scorched earth team Tom Crean had in his first year at IU managed to win 1 game, and that team was horrendous.
– Expectations are that star freshman PG Corey Sanders will be back from his two game suspension. That’s big, as he’s easily RU’s most gifted player.
– To be fair to Jordan, he’s been severely hampered by injuries, especially inside. He’s down to only three guys who can really be called frontcourt players in any serious way and one of them just played his first game in conference play.
– There is nothing Rutgers does well. Nothing. Probably the best thing they do is shoot, where they’re hitting 41.6% from the floor overall, though they’re terrible from 3 (31%). In terms of weaknesses, they are a bad defensive team overall and especially from three, where they give up a lot of good looks and a 37% success rate to opponents on the deep ball. Not an encouraging thought when you’re about to face one of the elite shooting teams in America.
– For MSU, I think the gameplan is pretty simple…jump on the Scarlet Knights early, run a balanced offensive attack (it’ll be tempting to take wide open 3 after wide open 3, but they’re also vulnerable in the paint and MSU needs to keep that part of the offense sharp), stay healthy and play hard.