Back at the RAC
A look at the Big East standings is just about as depressing as it gets for the Knights. Not only are they the only team in the Big East without a win, but the team immediately ahead of them -- South Florida -- blew them out earlier in the year.
If you're a Rutgers fan, you've got to hope for continued improvement, which, as far as tonight's game is concerned, probably means keeping it close for the majority of the game. But boy, would an upset do wonders for the Knights' confidence as they head to Pittsburgh on Saturday.
Here's the gameday box from today's Trentonian:
WHO: No. 18 Villanova at Rutgers
WHEN/WHERE: Tonight, 7:00 p.m., Louis Brown Athletic Center
ON THE AIR: TV: ESPNU ; Rutgers radio: WOR (AM-710) and WCTC (AM-1450); Villanova radio: WPEN (AM-950)
RECORDS: Villanova is 13-3 overall, 3-2 in the Big East; Rutgers is 8-11, 0-6. SERIES: Villanova leads 23-7
LAST MEETING: Villanova won 74-51 last year.
SCOUTING VILLANOVA: The Wildcats have won two straight and three out of four. They won at Syracuse 81-71 last Saturday and 76-69 against DePaul last Wednesday. ... Sophomore shooting guard Scottie Reynolds, the Wildcats’ leading scorer at 17.5 points per game, averaged 26 points in three games last week and was named Big East player of the week. He scored 25 points and had six rebounds last Saturday at Syracuse. ... Junior power forward Dante Cunningham is averaging 10.8 points and a team-high 7.5 rebounds. ... Junior small forward Shane Clark is averaging 9.9 points and 5.6 rebounds. ... Redshirt freshman power forward Antonio Pena (7.1 points, 3.5 rebounds) and freshman guard Malcolm Grant (7.3 points) round out the starting five.
SCOUTING RUTGERS: The Scarlet Knights have lost six straight and eight out of nine. Their last attempt to gain their first win in the Big East was their best: a 75-73 loss last Friday at DePaul. Prior to that game, they had lost every Big East contest by at least 12 points and four by at least 15. ... The Knights shot a season-best 61.7 percent against DePaul — their second-highest percentage ever in a Big East game. ... Junior forward J.R. Inman is 16th in the Big East in scoring, averaging a team-best 16.5 points per game. ... Junior guard Anthony Farmer scored a game-high 17 points on 6-of-8 shooting against DePaul. ... Freshman guard Mike Coburn (6.5 points, 2.2 assists) junior small forward Jaron Griffin (8.3 points, 3.5 rebounds) and sophomore center Hamady N’Diaye (4.9 points, 5.8 rebounds) round out the starting five.
SIDELINES: Villanova is 4-2 when trailing at halftime, including its last two wins. ... Rutgers coach Fred Hill was the top assistant under Jay Wright at Villanova before coming to Rutgers. ... Villanova’s 51-point second half against Syracuse was its 16th half of the season in which it scored at least 40 points. ... Rutgers beat Villanova 73-60 on Jan. 23, 2000 — the last time the Knights played on Jan. 23. They are 3-5 all-time on that date. .... The Knights are 5-12 all-time against at home against the Wildcats.
. . .
While Wednesday is a big night in the Big East, Thursday has all the action in the MAAC, including Rider hosting Manhattan. Here's a link to the advance in today's Trentonian.