Good Morning everyone. Before I get into my match-ups between RU and SHU I need to discuss a few items with everyone.
What is the deal with expanding the Rutgers Stadium and leaving the RAC just as it is with no visible improvements. The sound, and tight seats alone need to be improved from all I hear. At a time when RU has to compete against programs with GREAT FACILITIES, FHJ and his staff have to sell his program without a practice facility, or even plans to update and slightly expand the arena. Seating could stay the same but a larger facility allows larger seats and room for some corporate boxes. Think Dominick Cheek is not comparing facilities?
Part of a schools marketing department's responsibility is to market sports teams. Football and basketball, and even women's volleyball. They have to get games on TV!! How in heavens name does the two largest and most well known men's basketball teams in NJ play a game that is not available to everyone in the state of NJ? Little kids should be able to watch and grow up SHU and RU fans hoping to one day play for one of the two schools. If I see that Michigan is on TV one more time this season I will throw up on the spot! But guess what, it helps enrollment and markets the school. Bad job by who ever is responsible.
Is it just me or does Jerry Wainwright (Great Guy) look like a cartoon character chewing his gum on the sidelines? I mean he looks very odd to say the least. When he smiled at the end of the last game against RU he looked like a totally different person.
I have to give props to St. Anthony for being number 1 in the country without even having a real gym. Small school, no gym, inner city kids, and THEY ALL GO TO COLLEGE!!!! I realized last night that I rarely hear about a St. Anthony Kid going to junior college. This is why Bob Hurley is a Hall of Fame Coach !!! Its about more than basketball.
Here are my match up Predictions for the game tonight with SHU taking on RU.
Laing vs Inman
We will see JR come out and play good ball by rebounding well and being part of the offense early. Laing will be fired up and take the ball right at Rutgers and spend time on the FT line. Both will have decent first half stats. 2nd half will see JR play better than the first half but Lang will be consistent. End of the day it will be even performance wise. But effort and production advantage to Laing
Harvey vs Farmer
Farmer will hit some early shots and Harvey will counter by scoring and getting his teammates involved with easy buckets from great passes. 2nd half more of the same with Harvey exhibiting emotion and vocally leading his team. Harvey outplays Farmer but the scoring output is equal.
Garcia/Davis vs Hamady/Joynes
Garcia is the better scorer out of all mentioned AT THIS TIME. He comes out and gets a few put backs. Mike Davis enters the game and plays well also. But Hamedy is a madman on the court, especially if he stays out of foul trouble. he blocks shots and dunks a few to fire up the RU crowd. Joynes neutralizes Davis and has a bucket or two as well. Though Garcia is the more polished offensive player at this time my edge here goes to Hamedy if he can stay on the court.
Davis vs Coburn/Chandler
No contest against Chandler who is head and shoulders better than Davis. But against Coburn straight up Davis will be able to shoot over him and make things happen. Not sure Coburn is ready for this big of a game nor am I convinced he can hit the shots he hit against Villanova again this season. But Coburn is a real competitor and will give his all. However in a game such as this advantage is even with these two guys, but in a match-up with Chandler advantage to Chandler by alot.
Hazell vs Griffin
Advantage HAZELL. This kid has played in tight games all his life. He will step up to the challenge and have a great game. He could be a difference maker!!
Nutter vs Griffin
What Nutter shows up is the question. If Jamar shows up SHU will be very good. But if Jamar (the cool guy) shows up he will be a non factor. My bet is Jamar shows up and plays well. As a 5th year guy he has the experience to understand what needs to be done on both ends. Advantage Nutter. But Griffin has a decent game.
The Gause Factor
If he is 100%, heck if he is 80%, he will make a difference defensively. But because this is his first game back and he is really not Superman, contrary to what many of us believe, I see him playing a very limited role in this game.
The entrances alone will be worth the price of admission. Bobby G will come running out from the locker room high fiveing everyone in sight to many boo's from the RU faithful. FHJ will surprise everyone by entering with a scarlet red blazer and matching tie. He will get a standing ovation and a spot on the Fashion Patrol TV Show lol.
BG vs FHJ will be as good as the actual game. FHJ is coming off a great coaching effort against Pitt. BG always seems into the game and does a great job. This will be a game of runs with chess moves being made by both sides. The coaching started Monday with each coach attempting to get a psychological edge by telling their team how much the game means, what the other school thinks of them, etc. They also have broken down film until the wee hours of the night. At least I know SHU has even if BG was home in bed lol.
But what makes this more interesting is the coaches understand it is bigger than the score. It is about school contributions, recruiting, and recognition. And I have a strange feeling these two coaches, though respectful to each other, really do not care for each other. I would not put it past them to get into a shouting match, and exchange very cold end of the game handshakes.
The RAC will be Back!!!!!!
Hard to call because on paper SHU is really the better team. However RU has played well for 3 straight games. If the RAC is what it is capable of being, it will be hard for SHU to escape with a win. But any letdown by the fans or the RU Team and SHU escapes with a victory. My call? Two weeks ago I would have said SHU by 12, now because of how RU is playing I think
Rutgers steals one by 7 points based on home court advantage!!!!!!! CHANGE IN POST at 1:11 PM based on a strange feeling I have. RU now wins by 4.