Wednesday, January 5, 2011
W2W4: Rutgers vs. Marquette
By Kieran Darcy
Here are three things to watch in Wednesday night's Rutgers-Marquette matchup, which can be viewed on ESPN3.com. The game will also air locally on SNY.
TIRED BODIES? Rutgers (9-4, 0-1 in the Big East) already had a pretty thin bench, before it was announced on Tuesday that reserve guard Austin Carroll is out four-to-six weeks because of a knee injury. We'll see if Mike Rice's now eight-man rotation can keep up the defensive intensity their coach demands for 40 minutes.
NUMBERS GAME: Marquette (10-4, 1-0) is 16th in the country in scoring (81.4 ppg), seventh in field-goal shooting (50.4 percent), and fourth in assists (18.5 apg) -- the Golden Eagles like to play up-tempo, and the Scarlet Knights want the exact opposite. If it's a high-scoring affair, Rutgers almost certainly will be on the losing end.
BODY LANGUAGE: After an exciting 9-2 start under their new coach, the Scarlet Knights have suffered back-to-back double-digit defeats against North Carolina and Villanova. Marquette hasn't gotten much press, but the Golden Eagles will be tough to beat, even at the RAC -- their four losses have all been close and against tough opponents: Duke (by five), Gonzaga (by three), Wisconsin (by five) and Vanderbilt (by one). If you're a Rutgers fan, you just want to see your team compete hard and hang in there, even if they lose. What you're afraid of seeing is a team that starts to look discouraged and loses big.