Good Morning V5ers! Our Bulls are in the land of Snooki and Grease Trucks, as the Bulls play Rutgers tonight at 7:00PM. The game is on ESPN2 tonight. I know, it still blows my mind too. If you're wondering who's playing on ESPN, its Florida at Auburn. I'm sure Cam Newton will take it to coach Urb.. Wait they're playing basketball too? There might be people actually watching the game tonight.
After a fast start, Rutgers has fallen back to Earth a bit, and are now 10-7 on the year and only 1-4 in conference. Head Coach Mike Rice had Austin Johnson get his first start of the season in their last game against Georgetown, but according to Brendan Prunty the starting lineup for RU should look like this tonight:
PG: 6' Sr. Mike Coburn (8.6 PTS/2.0 REB/4.0 AST/1.6 STL)
SG: 6'2 Sr. James Beatty (8.7 PTS/3.2 REB/3.0 AST/108 STL)
SF: 6'7 Soph. Dane Miller (9.6 PTS/6.1 REB/2.6 AST/1.9 BLK/1.0 STL)
PF: 6'7 Sr. Jonathan Mitchell (12.5 PTS/5.9 REB/1.0 STL)
C: 6'8 Fr. Gilvydas Biruta (9.6 PTS/5.4 REB)
Coach Rice's bench is extremely thin right now with Austin Carroll out due to a left knee injury suffered a couple of weeks ago.The first guy, and the only guard off the bench is 6'5 Fr. G Mike Poole (7.1 PTS/3.7 REB/1.4 AST/1.3 STL) and he'll give both Coburn and Beatty a rest while the other shifts to point guard. He's not a great three-point shooter, so he'll drive the lane to create his own shot.
Next is 6'8 Soph. C Austin Johnson. (6.1 PTS/2.1 REB) Johnson is the only true center on the team, and will see extended minutes tonight if either Mitchell or Biruta get into foul trouble tonight. He does have a nice hook shot according to Prunty, so we'll keep an eye out for that.
Finally the last guy off the bench is 6'7 Sr. F Robert Lumpkins (3.8 PTS/1.8REB). He's out there for defensive purposes when on the court, but he will shoot the three when left open.
As you read from our Bulls Recon with On the Banks, Rutgers will try to slow down the game as much as possible, so it will come down to who makes their shots. Beatty and Lumpkins are the only two in Big East play who shoot the three over 40%, and Mitchell shot well before conference play, but is in a bit of a slump over the past few games.
USF does have a big size advantage down low, so it is imperative that the Bulls get Mitchell and Biruta in some early foul trouble to get to their bench. Rutgers hasn't done well against teams with quality bigs, so lets hope Augustus Gilchrist, Jarrid Famous, Ron Anderson Jr, and even Toarlyn Fitzpatrick get some good looks down low.
On defense, everyone needs to do a good job on their man for all 35 seconds and to make sure Rutgers is only limited to one chance per possession. Biruta, Mitchell, and Miller all do a good job on the offensive boards, so it'll be important for the posts and Hugh Robertson to attack the glass.
So what should we expect. I don't think the winner gets to 70 points, but I think USF has a good chance to get their first road win of the season. Both teams haven't done a good job finishing games this year, so whoever maintains their composure late will get the W. No predictions except for JAWANZA! Poland to do something awesome.