Hoya Saxa is fresh off a win at the KFC YUM Center where they upended the #4 Louisville Cardinals hours after Rick Pitino announced he would no longer coach after 2017. The Hoyas lone loss this season came against then #14 Kansas in a nail biter.
The Friars hope JTIII and crew are looking forward to a Marque(tte) matchup against the #13 Golden Eagles on January 4th. On their last trip down to the Verizon Center, the Friars got 43 big ones from Marshon Brooks and only 17 points from those who return to this year’s team. Anything less than 110% from the Friars in this one will allow Cooley to find 110 reasons to put you at the end of the bench.
WHAT TO: KNOW
Game Time: 2:00 PM ET
Opponent: (12) Georgetown (11-1)
Location: Verizon Center
Spread: Georgetown -14
ESPN Accuscore: Not yet posted
CBSSports Daily Picks: Not yet posted
Hit up the rest of the preview after the jump.
WHAT TO: LOOK FOR
Guard(s): 91 is a number Ed Cooley’s heart and mind can’t afford to see again when he looks up at the scoreboard. “Defense? That was awful,” he said. “I promise you we will correct that attitude. That was the worst defensive game I ever coached and that will be emphatically addressed at 6 a.m. tomorrow.” Even though there was no 6 a.m. practice, each player was probably dreaming about what their coach had to say after they allowed the Johnnies to make it a Varsity, JV scrimmage by nights end. There is no way the Friars will be competitive in the BIG EAST this season if the three C’s don’t collectively take over the game. Coleman had 20 for the Friars but Council and Cotton’s hot potato hands cannot afford to make the trip down to D.C.
Boxing Out: On a number of occasions, the Friars hoped Santa would come through the rafters of Carnesecca and box out their man the other night. The Hoyas will have Hollis Thompson (6’8), Otto Porter (6’8) and Henry Sims (6’10) on the boards all afternoon and if the Friars want to stay close they must get a body on each of them. They can ill afford to lose the battle on the offensive and defensive boards where they have fared well all
season with 39.3 boards a game.
Charity Stripe: On a number of occasions this season, Ed Cooley has run his team until they make their free throws. They made 8-13 against the Johnnies but will need to attack more against a Hoya team that shot 24 against the Cards. Coleman is a slicer and will need to take it hard to the hoop. The Hoyas like to slow things down on offense and run a lot of it through Sims. That Princeton offense doesn’t work as well if Sims is on the
bench in foul trouble.
Play like it’s your last: On every possession PC needs to play with a great sense of urgency like it is the last possession of the game. The Friars can ill afford to play half-heartedly on both sides of the floor and allow the Hoyas easy buckets. Louisville only turned it over 9 times against the Hoyas, who had 16 turnovers, and were still unable to come away with a victory. Crisp passing and solid ball handling should allow Providence
to run its flex offense and limit their turnovers.
Difference makers: Otto Porter- he is JTIII’s gem of the Hoyas 2011 class and he sealed it against Louisville the other night from the line. His 6’8 tweener frame could give the Friars trouble on the boards and on the block. They must not let the freshman get confident or they could be in for a long afternoon. Vincent Council- this may seem obvious to Friar fans but I am seriously going to doubt myself saying he is a top point
guard in the BIG EAST if he isn’t able to take advantage of Markel Starks. I am not taking anything away from Starks, but he is a first year starter who hasn’t been thrown into the gauntlet just yet. Council must take advantage of this matchup, as he is a bigger body than Starks and should be able to shoot over him and drive past him. On defense, Vincent must help more. The Hoyas do not run their offense through Starks so Council should look to find ways to break up that Princeton offense that Georgetown runs so effortlessly at times.
WHAT TO: READ
Saturday’s meeting with Providence will be the 60th meeting all-time between the schools. The Hoyas lead the head-to-head series, 40-19, and have won the last five games, including an 83-81 decision last year. Georgetown is 20-4 all-time at home against the Friars.
Expectations were not high after Georgetown lost its top scorers from last season, Austin Freeman and Chris Wright.
Key contributions from some unheralded returning players and newcomers, however, have made an impact. Three freshmen reserves combined for 25 points in Wednesday’s 71-68 upset at previously unbeaten No. 4 Louisville.
“You say freshman class, and they are freshmen and this is their first Big East experience, but they’ve been doing that since the summer,” coach John Thompson III said. “It’s a group that plays hard and competes.”
Washington Post: Georgetown vs. Providence: Hoyas look to continue hot streak
Starks settling in: After reaching double figures three times in the season’s first nine contests, Markel Starks, the Hoyas’ sophomore point guard, has scored 18, 14 and 20 points the past three games, a stretch in which he’s averaging 17.3 points per game and shooting 64.3 percent.
ESPN: Power Rankings
#9. Georgetown – The Hoyas don’t have a typical, cover-worthy star. They’re just balanced, poised and good. They handed Louisville its first loss of the season Wednesday. They were tougher than an undefeated Big East squad on the road. That says something.
Friar Basketball: Depth a Key for Emerging Hoyas
This edition of the Hoyas serves as another reminder of how difficult life in the Big East can be. The Hoyas were predicted to be down this year, yet they were welcoming three top 100 freshmen and have so many weapons that a top 50 recruit in sophomore Nate Lubick averages under four points per game.
Therein lies the difference in talent between PC and programs finishing in the top half of the Big East in recent years. A class with three top 100 freshmen and a pair of top 75 sophomores at Providence would send expectations through the roof.
One night a star freshman like Maurice Harkless can give you nightmares, and the next you’re facing a team with such depth that its seventh man is a second year top 50 recruit – a team that couldn’t crack the top 10 in the Big East’s preseason poll.
Casual Hoya: Games That Matter – Georgetown v. Providence Preview
Avoid the Hangover: Big win against Louisville. A game on New Year’s Eve. An empty Verizon Center. People will be thinking about their late-night plans instead of focusing on the game. The Friars won’t. Providence will enter this game with a hungry “us against the world” mentality. Georgetown needs to bring it. Providence is better than you think.
Hoya Prospectus: A Comparison
The Big East winning 2007-08 squad took three of our matchups — center, point guard and Austin. The current incarnation snagged our leads with Otto Porter, Hollis Thompson and two less important wins in Nate and the last part of the bench.
It’s actually somewhat amazing how similar some of the players are in many ways. It’s not surprising from one point of view; the offense and defenses are similar, the coaching staff is the same. On the other hand, the roster matches up very well in skills, ability level and role through almost every player. It’s close across the board.
WHAT TO: WATCH
2011-11-23 Georgetown vs Memphis
Georgetown hits a Gw 3 with 1.8 secs to go to put the Hoyas up 57-55 over Alabama. On the bright side for us Tide fans, Trevor Lacey hit some big shots and looks on the verge of breaking through.
Georgetown PostGame Alabama
Cox Sports PostGame Show after the Friars’ heartbreaket at Georgetown. Check out the highlights and Marshon Brooks’ near-masterpiece.
Providence College defeats Georgetown, 1987 Elite Eight, advances to Final Four
WHERE TO: FOLLOW
Twitter.com: @friartownmayor, @casualhoya. Follow the #pcbb.
WHERE TO: WATCH
ESPN2 (no excuse not to watch)
WHERE TO: LISTEN
WEEI 103.7 FM