Friars Playing with House Money vs. Georgetown on Saturday

dave@friarblog —  January 9th, 2009 9:15 PM
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The Providence Friars take on the #9 (#10 in Coaches Poll) ranked Georgetown Hoyas (10-3, 1-2) in DC.  Even though the Friars are 3-0 in BIG EAST play, everyone is quick to point out that they have only beaten the bottom feeders in the conference.   An upset win on Saturday would go a long long way in proving that Providence has come to play this year in the B-EAST. However, Georgetown has lost two tough road games in a row to #1 ranked Pitt and #13 ND (who just doesn’t lose at home).  The Hoyas need this game badly, and will be out for blood.

INFO

Time: Saturday, 1PM at the Verizon Center in DC

TV: ESPNU

Online: ESPN360.com

Free Online Radio: None

Friars.com Gametracker

StatSheet.com Pregame

PREDICTIONS

Spread: Providence +12

Ken Pomeroy: Georgetown 81-61[69] (4%)

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PREVIEWS ON THE WEB

Friars.com Gamenotes

The Friars and the Hoyas have met 56 times in the all-time series with Georgetown holding a 37-19 lead. PC is 13-12 all-time at home against Georgetown, 4-18 on the road and 2-7 on neutral courts against the Hoyas. The two teams first met on January 28, 1956 when the Hoyas earned a 77-51 win at Providence, R.I. In the Hoyas most recent game versus Providence, Georgetown defeated the Friars, 68-58, on February 18, 2008 in Providence. In Providence’s last win over Georgetown, the Friars defeated the Hoyas, 68-65, in Washington, D.C. on March 5, 2005

Kevin McNamara Audio Preview of PC-Georgetown

If it’s not the best defensive team Providence will play, it’s close. Pittsburgh is probably the only other one that can play defense with Georgetown in this league, and Providence — this group of players has shown that they can struggle when teams really get up in them defensively

The Truth About PC Basketball – “Time for a Georgetown Preview”

So far this season Georgetown is 10-3 and 1-2 in the Big East and is ranked No. 10 in the nation. The two best wins that they have so far have been against UConn and against Memphis (an unranked team, but they only have 3 losses, all against ranked opponents). The three losses Georgetown has include a loss to Tennessee (which was ranked No. 12 at the time…they have since dropped down to No. 25), a loss to Pitt, and a loss to Notre Dame.

TheHoya.com – “GU Looks to Rebound At Home”

“We’re playing a team that is 3-0,” Thompson said Thursday evening. “They are at the top of the Big East. So many people get caught up in the rankings and the numbers, but our league is so brutal.”

DCExaminer.com – “No smooth ride for Hoyas”

After a monster rollercoaster first week of Big East Conference play — toppling No. 2 Connecticut on the road, then losing two in a row to No. 3 Pittsburgh and No. 7 Notre Dame — Georgetown actually isn’t very far from where it was predicted to be at the beginning of the season: right in the middle of the league pack. Big East coaches’ preseason prognostications had the Hoyas (10-3, 1-2 Big East) picked to finish seventh.

Hoya Prospectus – Providence Preview

Providence has been a balanced team in almost every sense of the word. They have been mediocre, to begin with, ranking 83rd overall in Pomeroy. They are in the 80s in both offensive and defensive efficiency. Their shooting and turnover stats are more or less in that vein as well.

Overall, though, the Hoyas are simply the better team and are at home. If they do not collapse on the boards, they should take this one.

Hoya Hoops – Tuesday Teams

If you finish the regular season in the bottom half of the conference, you play on Tuesday [in the Big East Tournament].

Providence is currently 3-0 in conference play, but don’t worry about their record – it’s fool’s gold. Providence is a Tuesday team, so the Hoyas have to win if they’re going to fight for the three-peat and/or a bye into the quarters.

SOME NUMBAS

Georgetown Offense

Adj. Efficiency: 118.5 (5)

eFG% 53.6 (35)

Off Reb %: 33.2 (173)

TO%: 19.4 (96)

FT Rate: 38.8 (3)

Georgetown Defense

Adj. Efficiency: 86.9 (16)

eFG%: 40.7 (3)

Off Reb %: 38.1 (306)

TO %: 22.7 (86)

FT Rate: 26.1 (20)

- Georgetown’s defense has been incredibly stingy.  Even though the Friars have shot well the last few games, you have to think back to how their offense performed against some of the better teams they have played (and lost to) – Baylor, St. Mary’s.

- Georgetown has been incredible at getting to the line.  The Friars cannot afford to pile up the fouls, especially in the front court.  McDermott needs to be on the court for 30+ minutes.

- The obvious glaring weakness for the Hoyas has been allowing their opponents to get alot of offensive rebounds.  Geoff McDermott has been the best rebounder for the Friars (8.3 RPG), but he has only averaged 2.0 offensive boards per game in BIG EAST play so far.

OUTLOOK

Road games, especially to ranked teams, have not been kind to this Friars’ senior class.  Over the last three years, the Friars have won only 2 BIG EAST road games each year (and one so far this year).

Here were their road wins:

2005-06: Rutgers, DePaul

2006-07: UCONN, USF

2007-08: Cincinnati, UCONN

2008-09: Cincinnati

So that makes McDermott, Hanke, Efejuku, and Kale 7-19 in career conference road games.  They have only beaten 5 different teams on the road, UCONN obviously being the strongest (since we’ve strangely had their number over the last few years).  You can argue the Rutgers game was good too, since its generally a tough place to play and Quincy Douby was on that team launching threes.

All but one of those wins were obviously under Tim Welsh, so hopefully Keno can turn things around on the road this year in conference play.  They can’t just keep winning the games they are supposed to.

The odds are incredibly against the Friars here.  Top team who plays extremely tough on their own court, versus a team who historically struggles on the road.  No one expects the Friars to win on Saturday.  That may be just what the Friars need to keep playing pressure-free confident basketball.

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