2/19/2012 8:34:48 AM
This will be the 47th meeting in the all-time series. Syracuse holds a 37-9
edge in the rivalry after it won its last 11 games with Rutgers.
Syracuse extended its winning streak to six games on Monday as it escaped its
road game versus Louisville with a 52-51 victory. Jim Boeheim has led his team
to sole possession of first place in the Big East as it has a 12-1 record in
league play. The Orange's only loss this season was to Notre Dame, which they
played without their center Fab Melo. Syracuse leads the league in scoring
with an average of 76.1 ppg, and has held its opponents to 60.6 ppg.
The Orange have had all their success come this season through a total team
effort. There is not any player on Syracuse with jaw-dropping statistics, but
the team's play as a solidified unit has led to superb results. Kris Joseph
leads Syracuse in scoring with 14.0 ppg on 43.9 percent shooting. The senior
forward was held to just seven points his last time out as he attempted a mere
five field goals versus Louisville. Dion Waiters averages a second-best 12.2
ppg, while Brandon Triche chips in 9.6 ppg. Scoop Jardine controls the offense
for the Orange and leads it with 4.9 assists per contest. Melo anchors the
patented 2-3 zone with 3.0 blocks per game.
Rutgers fell for the fourth straight game on Wednesday as it was bested 71-53
by the Notre Dame Fighting Irish. The Scarlet Knights shot 39.3 percent from
the field and slightly lost the rebounding battle 37-35 to Notre Dame in the
loss. Second year head coach Mike Rice's Rutgers team is 12-14 and 4-9 in Big
East action. The Scarlet Knights have not been overwhelming offensively,
averaging just 65.7 ppg, and they have allowed opponents to outscore them with
an average of only 64.3 ppg.
The Scarlet Knights are a very young team as no seniors receive significant
playing time. Freshman guard Eli Carter leads the charge with a scoring
average of 13.6 ppg. Carter has scored in double figures 20 times this season
and ranks third among freshmen in scoring in league play. Myles Mack has been
a very serviceable sixth man. In his last 16 games, Mack has netted 10.0 ppg
off the bench. With Gilvydas Biruta providing size and scoring from the
forward position and Dane Miller's energetic play on the wing, Rutgers has the
tools to hang around with nearly anyone, but still lacks the experience.