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Preview: #11 Villanova Wildcats at Georgetown Hoyas

‘Cats travel to DC for a Saturday matinee match-up

NCAA Basketball: Maryland - E. Shore at Georgetown Scott Taetsch-USA TODAY Sports

The #11 Villanova Wildcats will tip off against the Georgetown Hoyas tomorrow afternoon in the nation’s capital. The ‘Cats, coming off a disappointing home loss at the hands of Marquette, will be looking to right the ship against a Georgetown team that has lost 5 in a row.

The Hoyas have yet to secure a conference win this season and presently sit in the Big East basement at 0-4. The Hoyas’ most impressive win this season thus far is a 4-point squeaker over 9-9 Syracuse. As for their low point? The Hoyas were blown out by Butler, a team that has been smoked by nearly every other team in the Big East. Things are rough down in DC right now.

So, what can the Wildcats expect against a struggling and desperate Hoyas squad?

Guard Heavy

The Hoyas are led by a trio of guards: freshman Aminu Mohammed, sophomore Dante Harris, and senior Donald Carey. Mohammed, a versatile and athletic playmaker, leads the team with 13.8 points and 8.6 rebounds a game. He has great vision and has the size (6’5, 210) to take a defender to the rim.

Harris, an undersized but hard-nosed facilitator, leads the team in assists (4.9) and steals (1.8). With a year under his belt, Harris has developed into the team’s third leading scorer (13.0 points per game) while logging heavy minutes. However, Harris has struggled with ball security - averaging nearly 3 turnovers a game.

Carey, the team’s senior captain, is averaging 13.5 points per game and is coming off an impressive 21 point performance against #21 Providence on Thursday night. Carey was previously sidelined for a few games with an illness but appears to have gotten back into form pretty quickly.

Additionally, senior guard Kaiden Rice - coming off the bench - dropped 19 on Providence on 5-7 from deep.

NCAA Basketball: Georgetown at Providence Paul Rutherford-USA TODAY Sports

An Offensive Defense

The Hoyas’ defense ranks 206th in KenPom, worst in the conference by nearly 100 spots. Georgetown ranks sub-230 in eFG% and turnover% - in fact, the only defensive stat in which Georgetown does not rank in triple digits is Block %. This year, the Hoyas have struggled mightily guarding the perimeter as Ewing’s squad frequently gets spun around and over-helps on ball screens. It will be a brutal indictment of Villanova’s offense if the Wildcats cannot capitalize on this glaring weakness. Zero excuses for this one.

NCAA Basketball: Marquette at Georgetown Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

Turnover Central

On the offensive end, the Hoyas play fast (29th in tempo) and look to push the ball in transition. On paper, it’s a modern and dynamic game-plan that capitalizes on the squad’s athleticism and leads to quality looks. In practice, it’s been a disjointed and turnover prone nightmare thus far for the Hoyas. The Hoyas rank 270th in turnover% on offense averaging nearly 15 per game. Villanova’s defense, looking to bounce back from a somewhat confounding performance against Marquette, should be able to disrupt a Hoya offense still trying to find its footing.

The game tips off tomorrow at 12:00 pm on Fox.