Hoyas play their Big East opener on Friday after 3-week covid pause
Your Georgetown Hoyas are back after a nearly 21-day covid pause that saw four games postponed to open up the Big East portion of their schedule against visiting Marquette and their new coach – but familiar face – Shaka Smart.
Game 12: Georgetown Hoyas (6-5, 0-0) vs Marquette Golden Eagles (9-6, 1-3)
When: Friday 6:30 pm
Where: Capital One Arena
Series: Hoyas trail 17-14
Last meeting: Georgetown easily handled Marquette 68-49 in the opening round of the BET last March.
First gameday of the new year!
— Georgetown Hoops (@GeorgetownHoops) January 7, 2022
TV: FS1 (Eric Collins & Dickey Simpkins)
Radio: 99.1 FM (Rich Chvotkin, 48th season), SiriusXM 381, Radio.com
NET Ranking: Marquette 58, Georgetown 158
KenPom Ranking: Marquette 64, Georgetown 120
KenPom Projection: Marquette 78-77 (54%)
Line: Marquette -2
‘It’s been so long since last we met’ seems particularly relevant for this one as it feels as though Georgetown last took the court months ago. In reality it’s only been about 3-weeks but a lot has changed.
Coach Patrick Ewing was available for a few minutes to local media on Wednesday and we learned a few things. At least we think. First of all, Georgetown had their first practice as a team on Tuesday. Ewing said that a lot of the players missed time due to covid and were able to start working out as they became able to do so. So best case scenario they had three days of practice as a team before the conference opener. That’s not ideal but it’s better than staying in the pause so there’s that.
The Hoyas will most likely have starting point guard Dante Harris back after he missed the loss to TCU on Dec. 18. Center Timothy Ighoefe (hand), who was seen practicing on videos posted on social media, is unlikely to play according to Ewing. Given the original timeline following surgery, Ighoefe should be back soon. Ewing also confirmed that former MEAC Freshman of the Year Wayne Bristol has joined the program, although his status for this game – and semester – is unknown. All this being said, we’ve seen things change a lot from a media availability to tip-off so you’ll really just have to monitor twitter about an hour or so before the game to see who’s actually in uniform.
Georgetown has used four different starting lineups through the first 11 games this season. Aminu Mohammed, who leads the Hoyas in scoring (14.6) and rebounding (8.7), and Donald Carey, the conference leader in 3-point shooting (47 %), are the only two players to start all 11 games. In case you were wondering, this is not an attempt at a jinx. Just stating the facts. Another fact is that Georgetown has worn five different uniforms this season and sadly none of them have been the tidal blue. Ok then.
Ewing will try and improve on his 1-3 record in conference openers in the rare Friday night home Hoyas game. The Hoyas beat Butler in the 2018-19 BE opener to start the season 1-0. It’s the only time Ewing has had the Hoyas above .500 in league lay at any point in his first four seasons. Go ahead, read that last sentence again as I just triple checked that stat. Ewing is however 1-0 against Smart while the former VCU and Texas coach is 1-2 against the Hoyas at his pervious stops. That one win did ruin a trip of mine to the Windy City while the Chicago River was dyed green. I guess I just need to get over that.
GOLDEN EAGLES REPORT
Staring an 0-4 conference start square in the face with the highest ranked Big East team in No. 16 Providence coming to town midweek, Marquette came up with a possible season changing/saving 88-56 drubbing of the Friars.
Smart’s team did well in the non-conference slate with wins over Illinois, West Virginia and Kansas State but came into the week on a four-game losing streak, with three of them coming at home. So instead of getting a team on life support, the Hoyas will welcome in a team that believes a turnaround is coming.
— Georgetown Hoops (@GeorgetownHoops) January 7, 2022
If you don’t recognize Marquette’s roster, you’re not alone. Let’s look at the projected starters as they come from all over the country. Darryl Morsell played four seasons at Maryland. Tyler Kolek was the Atlantic 10 Freshman of the Year at George Mason in 2020-21 and is now the top assist man in the Big East. Kur Kuath, who leads the conference in blocked shots, was at Oklahoma last season while Olivier-Maxence Prosper was in the ACC at Clemson. Justin Lewis – who is listed as a freshman despite playing last season – is back for his second season and leads the Golden Eagles in scoring and rebounding.
ONE VS TWO
Tonight’s matchup will pit the top two leading rebounders and assist makers in the league against each other. Mohammed leads the conference in rebounding at 8.7 per game while Lewis sits in second at 8.2. Kolek is the top assist man at 6.1 per contest while the Harris is in second at 5.3.
As mentioned above, Georgetown and Marquette met in last season’s Big East Tournament. The schools combine to bring back just three players – Greg Elliot (MU), Carey (GU), Harris (GU) – that started that game and only five overall. The Golden Eagles also have a new coach that I’m still getting used to seeing him with hair.
Georgetown 77, Marquette 75
Really there’s no way to know what’s going on here but last season the pause did the Hoyas some good so let’s just say it continues into 2022.
Leave your witty (and non-witty) in-game comments here!