Love is in the air, and hopefully so will be the smell of a convincing win at THE DUNK [Game Previews]

dave@friarblog —  February 14th, 2009 3:22 PM
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It’s Valentine’s Day…which means if I know what’s good for me, my time on the computer today will be short.  Hence the half-assed Rutgers preview.

INFO

Gametime: 7PM

TV: COX, SNY, ESPN360.com

GAMBLING AND PREDICTIONS

Spread: Providence -11.5 [Providence StatTweets]

Ken Pomeroy: Providence W, 78-67 (84% Confidence)

Saturday night, sold out game…you better hold on to your f’in hat!

AROUND THE WEB

StatSheet.com Pregame

Friars.com Gamenotes [pdf]

On Saturday, February 14 the Friars will play Rutgers at the Dunkin’ Donuts Center. The Friars have posted a 10-7 mark all-time versus the Scarlet Knights. The Friars are 6-2 at home, 3-5 on the road and 1-0 on neutral courts all-time against Rutgers. The two teams fi rst met on February 3, 1996 with the Friars earning a 79-68 win at Providence. The Friars have won the last four contests between the two teams, including a 76-50 win last season at Providence
on January 9, 2008.

ScarletKnights.com: Scarlet Knights set to meet the Friars Saturday evening in Providence

Rutgers is coming off a 65-60 home loss to Seton Hall Sunday afternoon. Mike Rosario (Jersey City, N.J.) scored 15 points and Earl Pettis (Philadelphia, Pa.) contributed 11, while Inman and Gregory Echenique (Guatire, Venezuela) both posted double figure rebounds, to pace the home squad. The Pirates scored the game’s final seven points to capture the win in a contest that featured 16 lead changes and ten ties.

Projo.com: PC Can’t afford to slip against downtrodden Rutgers

Rutgers (10-14, 1-10 Big East) lost its first eight conference games, some in head-shaking fashion. A 16-point first-half lead at Cincinnati ended up a 12-point defeat. A seven-point second-half lead over Pittsburgh slipped away. A scoreless streak in the final 2:50 led to a two-point lead over Jersey rival Seton Hall slipping away last Sunday. “The difference between Rutgers and South Florida and Cincinnati, Seton Hall, Georgetown and ourselves is not that big. You have to be aware that you have to come out and play hard,’’ said Davis.

Projo.com: PC’s postseason hopes may hinge on a strong regular-season finish

With six games remaining before all 16 teams head to New York City for the Big East Tournament, the Friars are in position to cash a ticket to the NCAAs for the first time in five years. But some serious heavy lifting still needs to be accomplished. PC is 7-5 in league play, tied for sixth with Cincinnati. The Friars have two games remaining against Rutgers, home dates versus Notre Dame and Pittsburgh and difficult trips at Louisville and Villanova.

Projo.com: Capsule Preview: Rutgers at PC

Daily Targum: Coaching ability still Hill’s biggest question

Once again, it is a near certainty that Rutgers will continue its status of perennial cellar dweller of the Big East, with no clear distinction of when they might even climb out.
And teams with new coaches in the last three years like South Florida, Cincinnati and Providence at least compete and are middle-of-the-road.
In fact, it has been three years since the Fred Hill Jr. coaching era began, and I’m not even sure if RU’s coach knows what he’s doing on the court.

Daily Targum: Rosario, Echenique avoid rookie wall

He won’t get any commemorative china or even any kudos, but Gregory Echenique will reach a milestone Saturday against Providence. It will be Rutgers’ and his 25th game of the season, tying the most he’s ever played in a year.
Congratulations, and hope it doesn’t hurt because this is right about the time freshmen hit that infamous rookie wall. 
There’s just one caveat: Echenique said he is just fine

North Jersey.com: Rutgers’ Hill needs assistant to lean on

There’s no shame in that. Hill is a brilliant recruiter, so it’s not as if he isn’t bringing something very valuable to the table. And there are successful coaches who function almost as CEOs, delegating such responsibilities as in-game strategy to others.

Let’s hear your predictions for the game in the comments!

I say Friars 85, Rutgers 67

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