Saturday, December 15, 2007

Rutgers takes a break

The Rutgers women Scarlet Knights went to their holiday break at 8-2 & ranked 6th nationally. 6 of those 10 games were against ranked opponents. They lost close ones they could have won against Stanford & Duke, convincingly defeated Maryland, but barely got by a mediocre Princeton team playing the pesky Princeton-style game. Every player on the starting five has step-up abilities & experience, but Coach Stringer is concerned about the bench. The disadvantage of playing so many top teams early on is that there are less opportunities to give the second team long minutes. ( 9-1 West Virginia, probably overrated at #13, won 8 games against "powerhouses" like Cornell & Presbyterian, mostly blowouts, but didn't have a prayer against #1 Tennessee. )

If the women are as good as the pollsters (& I) think they are, & stay sharp, they can run the table in the Big East during January. Then they meet UConn. Rutgers is a great defensive team, one of the best in the country - that & their experience are what put them in the top ten - but needs to crank up the offense to another level when the opportunity is there. Rutgers hasn't yet cracked 70 points. They aren't as good as UConn or Tennessee, but that doesn't they can't beat those two teams.

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