Following different starts to Big East conference play on Wednesday night, Georgetown looks to follow up their resounding victory over DePaul with a triumphant return to action against Marquette. The Golden Eagles began conference play with a disappointing 83-63 loss earlier this week. Georgetown, who experienced their fair share of struggle during the first two months of the season, enters this matchup with a total record of 8-5. Marquette's non-conference schedule was relatively light, ranked 339th according to KenPom.com, and the Golden Eagles cruised to 10 wins in 13 games.
How to watch, listen or stream
Time: 5:30 p.m EST
Radio: WNEW-99.1 in the D.C area, WAUK-540 in Milwaukee.
Online Streaming: This game will be available for streaming via the FOX Sports GO app where available.
Georgetown is favored by 6.5 points, according to OddsShark.com.
O/U is 143
Georgetown is 6-5 ATS, while Marquette is 5-7.
1. Georgetown's ability to sustain success
Throughout the tumultuous season so far, inconsistent results have plagued the Hoyas. It appears that whenever they show signs of reaching the expectations set out for them before the season, they stumble and fall against an inferior opponent. After a rough start to the season where they lost in double overtime to Redford, Georgetown took then third-ranked Maryland to the wire in a 75-71 loss. They continued this play with a win over Wisconsin in Madison Square Garden and loss to Duke where, again, they pushed the Blue Devils late.
This loss was followed up with a five-game winning streak that had Hoya fans optimistic for the remainder of the season. Yet, this theme of inconsistency showed once again as Georgetown fell victim to both Monmouth and UNC Asheville. Now, in the wake of a 12-point victory away at DePaul to open up conference play, one question remains: Can Georgetown finally be the consistent team that most expected of them at the beginning of the season?
2. Marquette's interior offense
Do not let their struggles against Seton Hall fool you; Luke Fischer and Henry Ellenson pair to form one of the more potent interior attacks in the Big East. As a highly touted recruit coming out of high school, Ellenson receives most of the fame. Although, Luke Fischer should not be overlooked as an integral member of the Golden Eagles' offense. A former transfer from Indiana, Fischer averages over 14 points per game and shoots an astounding 62 percent from the field. Playing a secondary role in their offense with the entrance of Ellenson, Fischer is able to dominate the opposition's interior defense.
Even though he is shooting under 45 percent, Ellenson does deserve his fair share of appraisal. Being the centerpiece of the opposition's scouting report as a freshman is no simple task. In order retain one's focus while receiving the attention of the defense requires a serious amount of confidence and mental fortitude. That being said, he is a freshman in college and frustration is expected. Against the Pirates, Ellenson struggled to a 3-of-14 shooting night where it just appeared as nothing could go right for the big man. As talented as Ellenson is, this form should not continue much longer. He is far too skilled to shoot under 25 percent on a consistent basis. Georgetown's small lineups, which places Isaac Copeland at the power forward position, may be the prime opposition for Ellenson to reverse his negative results.
3. Georgetown's ability to turn Marquette over
As a team without a true experienced and developed point guard, Marquette has struggled to hold onto the ball. Sophomore Duane Wilson and freshman Traci Carter, the team's two point guards, average 4.5 of Marquette's 15 turnovers per game. Of the two, only Wilson has not turned the ball over in a game this year, doing so only once since the opening game of the season. Marquette's turnover percentage is 19.8 percent, ranked 252nd according to KenPom.com. The Golden Eagles truly lack a point guard who is adept at dishing out assists while being careful not to produce turnovers.
Facing a point guard in D'Vauntes Smith-Rivera who has accumulated 11 steals in the last four games, both Carter and Wilson will need to be more prudent with the basketball. Smith-Rivera is an adept and experienced defender who savors opportunities to face young point guards who find taking care of the ball to be onerous. Both Carter and Wilson's ability to hold onto the ball will be a deciding factor in who prevails.