Indiana goes back out on the road Monday night for a Big Ten Conference contest with Rutgers. Both teams are on only one day of rest and both teams are riding long losing streaks (Indiana 4, Rutgers 5). We took a look at what the Rutgers media is saying about the game:
A COREY SANDERS ANTIDOTE?
On the Banks laments that the defense that has been giving Rutgers the most trouble is the pack-line. This is primarily due to the fact that the pack line places a heavy emphasis on eliminating dribble penetration and forces you to win from the perimeter. Rutgers guard Corey Sanders’ strength is to attack with the dribble drive, and the pack line has been slowing him down. On the Banks noticed that Archie Miller employs this defensive scheme:
Indiana’s new coach Archie Miller employs his version of the pack line defense as well, which will pose a major problem for the Scarlet Knights next Monday.
The defense has also been a problem for Deshawn Freeman. As illustrated in our game preview, collectively Sanders and Freeman are the statistical leaders for Rutgers. It will be interesting to see how Indiana’s defense impacts them on Monday.
REBOUNDING MAY DETERMINE OUTCOME
Indiana had its best rebounding effort in recent memory, dominating Michigan State on the glass 53-29 despite the Spartans being ranked #1 in the country for overall rebounding margin. Freddie McSwain looked like a man possessed on Saturday attacking the glass. Similarly, Rutgers hung with top 5 Purdue by owning the glass. As On the Banks noted:
En route to holding a +12 rebounding edge against Purdue on Saturday, Rutgers owned the offensive glass, producing a 15-7 edge in offensive boards and a 14-4 edge in second chance points. It was a major reason why Rutgers almost beat the top team in the Big Ten. For a unit that is so offensively challenged, effort on the boards and turning offensive rebounds into points is a major way to make up for their deficiencies. Whenever Rutgers has rebounded well overall in games this season, they’ve been tough to beat and they’ll need to do the same to overcome Indiana.
With both teams coming off short rest after giving spirited efforts against top 5 opponents, rebounding on Monday night may come down to which team is better conditioned and can sustain energy for 40 minutes.
RUTGERS STRUGGLING WITH INJURIES
Like Indiana, Rutgers has been struggling with the loss of key contributors. NJ.com describes the various players that have gone down for the Scarlet Knights, including guard Mike Williams and forward Eugene Omoruyi. Neither will play on Monday.
Williams has averaged 9.2 points and 4.2 rebounds in 22.1 minutes per game.
Omoruyi has averaged 7.6 points and 4.7 rebounds in 20.7 minutes per game this season off the bench.
We also don’t know the status of Rutgers big man Shaquille Doorson who appeared to be injured at the very end of the Purdue game on Saturday.
SOMETHING ELSE: ROCK CHALK ROMEO?
It seems like most of the buzz surrounding Romeo Langford’s recruitment has centered around Vanderbilt and Indiana, but it would certainly be wrong to discount the chances of national powerhouse Kansas. The Lawrence World Journal provided its take on Langford’s recruitment and where the Jayhawks stand in the saga.
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