MBB : On the block: Position-by-position breakdown of Syracuse vs. Rutgers

first_img Published on February 17, 2011 at 12:00 pm Point guardScoop Jardine vs. Mike CoburnIt’s amazing what a little familiarity can do for a point guard. Even if Coburn is nowhere near as skilled in the passing game as Jardine, the senior from Mount Vernon, N.Y., has a weapon at his disposal that is equal to what Jardine has: a running mate he has known forever. Jardine’s childhood counterpart is SU stalwart Rick Jackson. For Coburn, the Scarlet Knights’ best player in Jonathan Mitchell grew up on the Lower Westchester playgrounds with the 6-foot point guard. Coburn rarely goes for points and will struggle more against SU’s zone. It’s what he is groomed for. It’s hard not to see Jardine having the advantage in this matchup.Advantage: SyracuseShooting guardAdvertisementThis is placeholder textBrandon Triche vs. James BeattyRick Jackson was SU’s MVP through the first 25 games. Triche has taken that title in the last two. With Jackson struggling, Triche says he finally recognized he needed to assert himself in the SU offense, and against Louisville and West Virginia he went for 41 total points. SU head coach Jim Boeheim says Triche needs to be a scorer. Against the very average Beatty (averaging 8.7 points per game), Triche will have a chance to eclipse his season average of 11.2 points per game.Advantage: SyracuseSmall forwardKris Joseph vs. Dane MillerJoseph is coming off a pretty complete performance against West Virginia, but to Jim Boeheim, Joseph’s game is still not where it should be. Miller will be a challenge in some aspects of the game. For example, he’s fifth in the Big East in blocks per game. But he has also proven the ability to not be much of an offensive threat at times, evidenced by his zero-point, one-rebound performance against Seton Hall last Saturday. He doesn’t compare with a player the caliber of Joseph.Advantage: SyracusePower forwardRick Jackson vs. Jonathan MitchellThis is where Jackson will look to exploit Rutgers’ lack of overall size, because on offense he’ll have the ability to match up against the undersized Mitchell. Rutgers will undoubtedly double- and even triple-team Jackson, so SU’s other shooters have to step up. Mitchell’s claim to fame recently has been a four-point play that won his team a game over Villanova, but he’s been lighting up the scoreboard lately with at least 20 points in five of six games.Advantage: EvenCenterBaye Moussa Keita vs. Gilvydas BirutaIt’s a matchup of two freshmen here, and it includes the freshman who should be starting at center for SU. Moussa Keita is a starter by name only. Most of the time, C.J. Fair’s subbed in for Moussa Keita in the past two games. On the other side, Biruta has impressed in his freshman season. He’s among the top three freshmen in the Big East in field-goal percentage (first), free-throw percentage (first) and rebounding (third).Advantage: RutgersBenchRutgers’ bench has some spark, including wing Mike Poole and forward Austin Johnson, who leads the team in field-goal percentage. But the biggest factor off the bench will be from SU. That would be C.J. Fair, who has played an average of 35 minutes in the past two games. He’s averaging more than 10 points per game in his last three. Will Fab Melo get some minutes here?Advantage: Syracuse Commentscenter_img Facebook Twitter Google+last_img read more