1. Creighton has been a poor team at defending the 3-point shot this year, ranking 269th in 3-point% allowed. With Georgetown coming in as an above average shooting team from the perimeter, is this the matchup that can be most exploited?
Christopher Novak: This is the matchup to watch for in this game. If Georgetown gets hot from the 3-point line, it could put this game out of reach early. Creighton has been dismal offensively from the perimeter for this season, and currently have a 3 PT FG% of 32.4 percent away from Omaha. Creighton's offensive efficiency numbers have been above average, but as proven against Providence on New Year's Eve, if their opponent gets hot, they don't have the firepower to stay within range.
Devonte Brooks: It is the matchup to be exploited but that's only if Georgetown shooters are on point because at times they are shooting horrible and at times they are one of he best teams that can shoot from behind the arc. It will be interesting to see who will be able to get hot for Georgetown because they have a lot of players that can score from downtown and D'Vauntes Smith-Rivera is one of them.
2. Georgetown was very sluggish against Xavier who had an arsenal of bigs at their disposal. Against a team like Creighton, whose size is relatively sparce, what kind of game plan should we expect from the Hoyas?
CN: If the Hoyas want to win, exploting the mismatches on the perimeter and down in the post should be key. I think Joshua Smith is going to have a huge game if he gets a lot of touches. Creighton's bigs are no match for his physical strength and stature, and his athleticism as well. One thing to note will be how they can limit his offensive rebounding chances. CU has done a good job of keeping opposing offenses off the glass but Smith has been an excellent rebounder -- 14th best in the country in individual OR%. He'll be a focal point in this game, that much is certain.
DB: Expect the Hoyas to get the ball inside to Joshua Smith as much as possible. He leads in usage rate -- accounting for more than 28 percent of Georgetown's possessions on the season. The Hoyas will look to establish Smith in the paint early and often, which should open the offense up.
3. Joshua Smith has had recent problems of staying out of foul trouble, what does he need to do in order to stay out of that?
CN: He has to play smartly, efficiently and effectively. That may sound simple and lame, but it's true. While I do expect Creighton to try and get him into foul trouble, the Bluejays don't necessarily have many players who have expertly drawn fouls. The highest FD/40 (Fouls Drawn/40 Minutes) by any Bluejay this season is Will Artino whose FD/40 is at 4.9 percent. To put that number in perspective, LeBryan Nash of Oklahoma State is tied for the Division 1 lead in FD/40 at 8.8 percent with East Tennessee State's Jalen Riley. Smith's foul troubles could present themselves again, but I suspect it'll take a Herculean effort from the Jays for it to occur. The fact that this game is in D.C. may help Smith out as well.
DB: Smith needs to move his feet on the defensive side of the ball and not make small mistakes because that is really hurting the offense of Georgetown when he is not on the floor. Georgetown needs to establish Smith early so he can get into a flow. When Smith is not on the floor, the up tempo offense does not get going. So, Smith needs to move his feet so he does not affect his team and hurt them.
4. How can Creighton contain Georgetown's offense?
CN: Georgetown doesn't have an offense that will be lighting up the scoreboard, but they can punish you in a variety of ways. They can get out and run after forcing turnovers and are stout in the half court as well. They play their best inside the 3-point line, where they're converting on 51.9 percent of their field goal attempts. They're also terrific at garnering offensive rebounds, with the 12th best mark in the nation at this point. With 57.1 percent of their points coming on 2-point attempts this season, Creighton will have to lock it down in that area and let the rest come to them. They're slightly above average in this category so this could tilt their way. Time will tell if it proves effective enough.
DB: It is highly difficult to stop Georgetown's two-way offense. They can run up and down the court, but also they can also run a lot of half court sets as well. A lot teams like to run man against Georgetown, but the way to contain them to is to double Joshua Smith because he has trouble in passing out of double teams. Also, getting a hand on D'Vauntes Smith-Rivera and not allowing him to get to the line is incredibly important.
5. What will be the final result?
CN: Georgetown 70, Creighton 55. I don't see the Bluejays having an answer for D'Vauntes Smith-Rivera or Joshua Smith. The latter will likely wreak havoc down low as they don't have the bodies to match up with him or contain him in general. Creighton's second year in the Big East will be skittish, and this Saturday afternoon tilt will be another precursor of what's to come.
DB: Georgetown has not lost a back-to-back game all season long, so I do not expect nothing different. According to KenPom, Georgetown has a 78 percent chance, so I expect Georgetown will score over 60 points and get the W to move to 1-1 on the season in conference play.