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Georgetown and St. John’s square off Saturday

The Hoyas are just underway in Big East play, but can they keep the Johnnies at bay?

NCAA Basketball: Georgetown at Butler Thomas J. Russo-USA TODAY Sports

How to Watch, Listen and More

When and Where: Saturday, January 5th at the Capitol One Arena

Time: 1:00 pm ET

Watch: CBS

Radio: 570 AM WMCA (St. John’s), WOL 1450 AM (Georgetown)

All-time: This match up between Georgetown and St. John’s has been played a grand total of 92 times, which makes it the second most played game in Georgetown’s program history and the third most played in St. John’s history. At the moment, Georgetown holds the advantage with 47 wins to St. John’s 45 though the Red Storm could catch up with two wins this season. The first time both met was in 1950 with St. Jonh’s taking that game by a point and then the Red Storm (or at the time Redmen) proceeded to take the next eight games against the Hoyas until 1973 when Georgetown finally won and began their own streak against St. John’s. Streaks have come to define this match up with either St. John’s or Georgetown usually winning these games in stretches though in recent times it has been the Hoyas streaking and the Red Storm picking off wins in one off fashion.

The Big East got into full swing this week as each of team began in earnest their conference campaigns for the 2018-19 season. Some are already two games into their conference schedule ,and others have just left the starting block, but the Big East is back and this weekend will be wall to wall conference play for the first time this season.

The Hoyas made a mid-week trip to Indianapolis to take on Butler at Hinkle Fieldhouse. The Hoyas won by a scoreline of 84 to 76 in their first game back and overall looked pretty promising.

At the same time the Hoyas were just getting underway, St. John’s were in their second game of their Big East slate against Marquette which the Red Storm with ease to get their season back on track after a rather dubious ending in their first game against Seton Hall.

Georgetown will be playing host to St. John’s on Saturday as the Hoyas will be looking to continue their promising start to the season and the Red Storm will be looking to follow up from an excellent midweek showing against Marquette. This is a rather tasty game so let’s take a look at what is at stake.

In the case of Georgetown, their aforementioned win against Butler earlier this week got Patrick Ewing’s squad off to a good start in Big East play with the Hoyas demonstrating that they will have a number of options at their disposal. Greg Malinowski was the biggest surprise against Butler as he posted a career best 26 points against the Bulldogs. He is not along though in what Georgetown can bring to the table as they have Jesse Govan an already established talent in the conference and the two young guns in James Akinjo and Mac McClung. Govan is leading the team in points per game at a rate of 18.2 per game and Akinjo and McClung (who has missed the past couple games with an injury) are not too far behind in their production. Akinjo at this point in the season is averaging 14.0 points per game and McClung is averaging 12.3 points per game. Akinjo and McClung are starting to be figured out by opposing defenses, but the presence of other options means that Georgetown can move and spread the ball around without much worry. It will be interesting to see who will be the focal point of the offense for the Hoyas in this game. It is also worth noting that so far this season the Hoyas have been averaging 82.5 points per game which is just as high as St. John’s who have been averaging 83.9 points per game this season so far. In the case of both it might be the result of both teams scoring against weaker opposition in non-conference play or that they both have high flying attacks on offense.

Speaking of St. John’s, they are sitting on a 1-1 after their opening week of conference play. After two games we have a better perspective on Chris Mullin’s team this season, much better than in the non-conference games. The Johnnies clearly are a talented team and it was shown in their last game out as all five starters ended the night with double-digit point totals and several players reverted back to form or kept up their pace. In the case of Shamorie Ponds it was finding his form again after an off night against Seton Hall and in Marvin Clark II’s case it was continuing his excellent stretch of games.

Sedee Keita may also see more minutes this game as he gets back to full strength. He played for a bit last game out but did not make much of an impact on the court. This game should see him flex a bit more on the court and add another dynamic to St. John’s.

In all, this should be an interesting game to watch. The most immediate takeaway should be that this will be a high scoring game given both teams so far this season have found touching 80 points in a game an easy task. Both teams both have a wide array of options at their disposal and will be interesting to see just have St. John’s and Georgetown square off to counter each other. Naturally there is the coach dynamic as well and its own narrative with Patrick Ewing and Chris Mullin facing off against each other under the gaze of John Thompson from the stands.