1. Georgetown is so versatile, how can Marquette contain the guards?
Conner Handel: Duane Wilson will have a big role off the bench in an effort to slow down the Hoyas' dynamic backcourt. I say slow down because if they try and completely shut down the backcourt Georgetown will simply feed its bigs for easy baskets. The best chance Marquette has in this game is if it can force Georgetown to beat them with jumpers.
Devonte Brooks: Georgetown has a lot of players that can play the guard position and that is so important to the team. Defending the middle of the paint will be key because L.J. Peak is a driver and loves to attack. Also, defend the perimeter because D'Vauntes Smith-Rivera can shoot the ball really well.
2. Who will have a more important role for Georgetown: Joshua Smith or D'Vauntes Smith-Rivera?
CH: The most integral piece on Marquette is Luke Fischer. He is efficient on offense and disruptive on defense. Joshua Smith will have his hands full today. If Smith is successful on both ends, Marquette stands no chance. Smith-Rivera is one of the Big East's top guards, but he will need to feed the post early and often to put away Marquette.
DB: Joshua Smith, because if he gets going then Marquette will not be able to stop him, and then it will get D'Vauntes Smith-Rivera going also. Smith has a problem with foul trouble so he will need to stay aggressive and be smart against Fischer, who has been a good addition to Marquette. If they do not contain Smith-Rivera, they will be in for a long night because once Smith gets going early, it is hard to contain Georgetown's offense.
3. What does Marquette need to do to play another solid game against a tough Georgetown team after beating Providence?
CH: In order for Marquette to win they need to win the battle of the paint. The Golden Eagles are a team that utilizes the inside-out game. While guards slash the lane and Luke Fischer attracts attention in the paint, defenders are forced to play stronger help defense allowing shooters to open up for three. If Marquette can control the paint, its offense will run smoothly and it can control the tempo. But with Joshua Smith leading one of the Big East's toughest frontcourts it will not be an easy task.
DB: What Marquette needs to do if they want to beat a tough team like Georgetown, who was projected 2nd to win the Big East, is do not turn the ball over when Georgetown goes small. The Hoyas are the type of team that will take advantage of small mistakes. Crashing the boards and trying to get second chance points will be a key because if you can do that, than any team will have a chance because Joshua Smith has not been rebounding well for the last few games. It's hard to limit them in scoring because they have so many players that can score. Playing good defense and trying to get Joshua Smith in foul trouble because that is when the offense goes stagnant at points in the game. Marquette needs to take advantage when they have a big lead, because Georgetown is good at recovering when they're down. The last five minutes of the first half and first five minutes of the second half of important.
4. What was different about Marquette against DePaul versus its game against Providence?
CH: Marquette held control over DePaul in the first half as it won the turnover battle five to DePaul's seven. But in the second half the Golden Eagles let the lead slip away. The tables turned as Marquette gave up 10 turnovers to DePaul's three. Versus Providence,. Marquette won the turnover battle 17-11. If Marquette wins the turnover battle against Georgetown it can at least give itself a chance.
DB: Against DePaul, they shot 3-for-23 from behind the arc and against Providence, they made 5-for-14. That's a huge difference to say the least. Shooting the ball less while making some was a key ingredient to their success. Also, they shared the ball equally and it looked to be a balance scoring from everyone who got in the game and played a lot of minutes.
5. Who will win and why?
CH: Georgetown has shown flashes of great basketball this year, but really has not proven to be consistent. That said its veteran presence, with four starting upperclassmen, will show up in a home conference game that it cannot lose. The Hoyas have some solid victories this season, but no signature wins. They cannot afford any black marks on their resume, especially at home.
DB: Georgetown will win. They are so deep and have so many players that can hit you, and if Marquette wants to win, they will need to help from Luke Fischer to defend Joshua Smith very well. Georgetown has slot of depth and it will hurt Marquette if it comes down to who can make shots because they are inconsistent at times and Georgetown can really take advantage of that in games if they are clicking.