Jim O'Connor-US PRESSWIRE
Win this one and it helps wipe away the St. Peter's stain. Lose this one and you have to wonder where the team stands.
Keys to the Game:
1. Slow the Hummer: By most accounts, if Princeton was a Big East team, Ian Hummer would be an all Big East player. He's a do it all forward, who can score more than anything else. Last year, Hummer scored 21 points against Rutgers, including a game winner in the last with 2 seconds left. Rutgers is going to have to do a better job on him. Slow him down and you stand a much better chance.
2. Take a Page from Northeastern: Northeastern beat Princeton the other night because they packed in a zone and really frustrated Hummer in the second half. If you stayed until the end against Sacred Heart, you saw Mike Rice left his starters in to practice a zone. Expect to see more of that zone tomorrow.
3. Stay Out of Foul Trouble: The Princeton Tigers aren't fools. They know Mike Rice teams foul a lot, and Wally Judge has had his share of foul trouble early this season. Expect Hummer to attack the basket early and try to get Judge in foul trouble. If Wally has to ride the pine for an extended period of time, expect it to be a long night. Of course, I keep focusing on Hummer, so expect someone else to light up the Knights.
4. Feed the Post; Attack the Rim: On the other hand, Rutgers should do what Princeton will probably try to do. Feed Judge and whoever else is in the post and take it right at Hummer. Try to get him in foul trouble early. The more frustrated Hummer gets, and the more he's on the bench, the better the chances for RU. Plus, Rutgers guards are really good when they play tough. Attack the hoop, and try to score through contact. Only take 3s when you're open to take 'em.
5. DEAR GOD RUN THE OFFENSE: Listen, Princeton is going to play defense. They're going to try and slow the ball and muck it up. They are going to take Rutgers out of their rhythm and they probably won't let RU get many fast break chances. In the past, that's worked against Myles Mack, Eli Carter, and Jerome Seagears. It's time for this team to start showing some maturity and be willing to grind out possessions. Learning and winning tomorrow night will really pay off down the road tomorrow, so be smart.
Game is at 7 o'clock tomorrow.