Monday, January 27th, 2014
When: 9:00 pm Eastern
RPI: Villanova: 6 | Georgetown: 68
KenPom: Villanova: 14 | Georgetown: 65
BMO Harris Bradley Center (Capacity: 20,308)
Where: Washington, D.C.
TV: Fox Sports 1
Odds: Villanova -5.5 | O/U: 139.5
Georgetown and Villanova have met 71 times dating all the way back to 1922. The Hoyas own the series record 42-29, but each program historically goes on winning streaks of several years. Villanova owned the early 2000's. But Georgetown has beaten the Wildcats in 8 of their last 10 meetings (since 2007) by an average of 8.5 points. The Hoyas lost 67-57 at the Wells Fargo Center while ranked as the #5 team in the nation.
Despite Georgetown's historical success, this year's campaign is not going smoothly. The losses of stars like Otto Porter to the NBA, Greg Whittington to academics & ACL, and now center Joshua Smith to academics, has the Hoyas reeling. Recovery from a broken jaw may keep Jabril Trawick out of his 6th consecutive game as well. The Hoyas now sit at 6th in a fluffy Big East Conference in the midst of a 4-game losing streak.
The team is led by its two starting guards, D'Vauntes Smith-Rivera and Markel Starks. Smith-Rivera leads scoring with 17.5 points per game while chipping in 3.1 assists and 4.8 rebounds. He shoots a healthy 45% from 3-point land and 47% from the floor. The senior point guard and captain Starks is more of a slasher. He contributes 16.2 ppg while dishing out 3.9 apg. His gritty play is comparable to Ohio State's Aaron Craft. Thompson III rarely substitutes Starks, who plays an astonishing 36.8 minutes per game.
Although Georgetown has a strong back court, the front court is the demise of this team. The DC squad relies on Nate Lubick and Mikael Hopkins to do their work in the paint. They each pull in about 6 rpg, but Hopkins scores slightly more at 6.8 ppg. Lubick's strength and defensive presence should not go unmentioned though. These two players, along with Aaron Bowen and Moses Ayegba, will have to carry more of the load with Georgetown's thin roster.
The Hoyas don't have much time to lick their wounds from Saturday's loss to Creighton. Georgetown faces two ranked opponents, the second one being Michigan State, before playing an easier DePaul team. Creighton exposed the Hoyas' weak interior; Creighton only went 7 for 21 from distance (cool, Creighton) but still beat Georgetown by 13 points. Georgetown lost the rebounding battle 39-31, plus Bluejay center Will Artino tied a career-high with 14 points.
John Thompson III's story begins with his father. John Thompson Jr. coached Georgetown from 1972 to 1999, giving them their first and only NCAA championship in 1984. His son interestingly did not play basketball for him in college, but rather played at Princeton University from 1984-88. After Thompson Jr. retired, Craig Esherick had a short stint as the Georgetown's coach from 1999-2004, and John Thompson III took over before the 2004-2005 season.
Thompson III's coaching career began at his Alma mater Princeton in 1995. He was promoted to the head coaching position there in 2000, and left in 2004 to lead the Hoyas' basketball program. His head coaching overall record is 277-131 (.679) and 209-89 (.698) at Georgetown. Perhaps his most notable accomplishment is reaching the Final Four in 2007. His team also won the Big East Conference Championship in 2007 and won regular season in 2007, 2008, and 2013. He is active in both the Georgetown and Washington DC communities. Rumor has it that Thompson is bringing back the bald + mustache look.
Do I actually have to do this? It's nearly every political leader that didn't go to an Ivy League school, including Bill "I Did Not Have Sexual Relations" Clinton. Bradley Cooper infamously transferred from Nova to attend the university, but is the only attractive person on record from Georgetown. Nancy Pelosi's husband went there... Benjamin Franklin Gates, Nicholas Cage's character in National Treasure, went there... Nick Kroll, the guy from that awful new show on Comedy Central, went there. "The Georgetown Cuddler" went there but is NOT an alum.
- Behind Enemy Lines: Casual Hoya talks Georgetown basketball
- Big East launches plan to sell tickets directly over the internet for the first time since 2003
- Film Room: Player grades for Villanova vs. Marquette
- BIG EAST Basketball Preview: Week 13
- The Sun's Arizin: Villanova Wildcats news and links for January 27, 2014