In one of the most anticipated matches of the Gavitt Games, third-ranked Maryland is playing host to Georgetown. The battle of two schools in the Washington D.C area is sure to be exciting on both ends of the court. Here is what to expect when the two schools tip off tonight.
D'Vauntes Smith-Rivera vs. Melo Trimble
Two of the nation's better guards, Smith-Rivera and Trimble, may have two years separation, but there is certainly not much separation in their talent. Last year, Smith-Rivera averaged 15.0 points and and 5.0 assists for the Hoyas, while Trimble was the B1G Freshman of the Year as he led the Terrapins to a 4-seed in the NCAA tournament. While Smith-Rivera may be the better shooter of the two, Trimble is much better off the dribble, and gets to the foul line more often (6.9 free throw attempts per game to 4.9). Both of these standout guards are members of the Preseason Bob Cousy Award Watch List, given to the best point guard in the NCAA. It will be interesting to see if the leadership and experience of Smith-Rivera will turn the tide in Georgetown's favor.
The emergence of Bradley Hayes
Following the graduation of Josh Smith and Michael Hopkins, Georgetown was left without a true and experienced center, which is a position that John Thompson III has always utilized in his Princeton style offense. In Saturday's loss to Radford, senior Bradley Hayes started over the highly rated freshman Jessie Govan to the surprise of many. The senior, who had only scored 30 points prior to this season, dropped 19 points on 7-9 shooting and brought in 12 rebounds. Facing Diamond Stone and one of the better front courts in the NCAA, Hayes will look to continue his strong start to the season.
Georgetown's ability to rebound
After a disappointing defeat at home to the Big South's Radford University, Georgetown may not need a win against Maryland, but definitely need a solid showing to silence the critics of their early season woes. After scoring only 17 points last game, Georgetown needs more from Tre Campbell and the other members of their bench to provide a jumpstart to their season in their second game.