The best 1-3 team in the land has returned to its home of Washington D.C., aiming to begin turning the tide on what has been nothing but a tough start.
The Georgetown Hoyas are back at the Verizon Center on Saturday afternoon after a quick trip up I-95 to familiar stopping grounds. The Hoyas went 1-1 in the 2015 2K Sports Classic held at historic Madison Square Garden in New York City, defeating the Wisconsin Badgers of the Big Ten, and falling by a slim two point margin to the reigning National Champion Duke Blue Devils of the ACC. Now, with a stunning loss to Radford and a hard-luck loss in College Park to Melo Trimble and the Maryland Terrapins - an instant classic collision between the two DMV schools - Georgetown looks to finish the month of Novembet strong.
The Hoyas will welcome the Bryant Bulldogs to D.C. The 'Dawgs, based out of Smithfield, Rhode Island like Georgetown come into this matchup with a below-.500 record, standing pat at 2-3 to this point in the season. They, like the Hoyas, have also lost to Duke this season. That said, there are distinct differences between the two as Georgetown fell by two points to the Blue Devils, while the Bulldogs lost by 38.
This matchup plays into Georgetown's hands, as does their upcoming encounter with Maryland Eastern Shore. With their highly anticipated meeting looming with suddenly surging Syracuse, the winners of the 2015 Battle 4 Atlantis Tournament, John Thompson III and Co. can ill afford to take a loss at this stage of the season.
How to watch, listen or stream
Game Time: Noon ET
TV: FOX Sports 2
Online Streaming: Streaming is available via the FOX Sports GO app where available.
3 things to watch
1. Strong 3-point shooting?: It's early, but this year's Hoyas has the potential to be the best 3-point shooting team since the 2009-10 squad shot 38.7 percent as a unit. Through the first four games, Georgetown's lighting up the net, shooting 40.7 percent from the perimeter. That mark ranks 50th in the nation and tops in the BIG EAST Conference as well. When the Hoyas played the Badgers, Wisconsin's proneness to 3-point shooting showed itself as Georgetown shot a staggering 50.0 percent that night. Bryant is omitting a 3-point field goal percentage of 42.2 percent through its first five games which slots them at 327th in the nation in that category. If they get their looks, the Hoyas might let it rip with great success.
2. Purple Hayes all in my brain: The most pleasant of surprises for Georgetown thus far has been the play of center Bradley Hayes. The 7-foot senior big man has gone from scoring 16 total points in the 2014-15 season to averaging 10.25 points this season. He did struggle to get on the stat sheet against Wisconsin and Duke, scoring a combined six points at MSG during the 2K Sports Classic, but facing the Bulldogs might give him a chance to regain his form. That's because Bryant is allowing a 2-point field goal percentage of 55.9 percent this season. This, like Georgetown's 3-point shooting, has the chance to play right into the Hoyas' hands if everything plays out correctly.
3. Keeping turnovers down: One glaring weakness that the Hoyas have had exposed in the early portion of the season so far has been their inability to take care of the basketball. In four games, the Hoyas have put up a Turnover% of exactly 20 percent. The nation's average in TO% currently stands at 18.5 percent, for what it's worth. Georgetown committed 12 against Duke and Maryland, 15 against Wisconsin, and 17 against Radford. Bryant isn't going to be feasting off turnovers - they're forcing the D1 average of 18.5 percent - and their offense is similarly unable to maintain possession often. But the Hoyas have to make it priority number one to keep good care of the ball in their home venue on Saturday afternoon.