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Rutgers Preview

By Mitch Mullins

Monday night's victory over Villanova was huge on a number of different fronts. It was the most impressive victory of the season. It was on the road against one of the top two teams in the conference. It stopped the bleeding. It was a FANTASTIC performance by Kemba Walker. This is the Kemba Walker Husky fans were promised and have anxiously anticipated. This Kemba Walker can flat out play. I thought I was watching Khalid El-Amin after a successful Nutri-System campaign. Walker was shooting, dishing, driving, getting to the free throw line, not turning the ball over------basically, playing the point guard position exceptionally well. So the question becomes how to capitalize on this game and use it to craft some type of late season run.

Going forward, the most important thing to take out of the Villanova win was a clear illustration of the recipe necessary for this group to be successful. This team needs to win from the outside-in, not the inside-out. This goes against coach Calhoun's natural tendencies, but it is time to dance with the girl you brought. I have espoused these thoughts all season long. In the half-court set, Dyson, Robinson and Walker need to shoot the first time a good look presents itself. A shot from those three, given a decent look, regardless of outcome, is far superior to a turnover resulting from forcing it inside to a poor option or a forced shot with the shot clock winding down as a result of trying to find a good look down low that is not presenting itself. For our big men to be effective in the low post, the ball has to go in quickly and the receiver has to make his move quickly. Otherwise, turnover city. Once Oriakhi, Majok, Okwandu, or Edwards dribbles that ball a third or fourth time, nothing good is going to happen. They simply do not have the low post footwork necessary to be effective after multiple dribbles.

Once again, recipe for the rest of the season: Force tempo whenever possible and encourage your shooters, including Coombs-McDaniel to launch the first good look they see. Less Butler or Princeton, more past Arkansas-like 40 minutes of pain!


  1. I agree. We need a bigger "dose" of Coombs-McDaniel launching threes. On a dailey, or at least an every-game basis.

  2. Fantastic insight. Unfortunately, I did not read this until after the game as I don't use my computer on a dailey basis.