Georgetown @ Providence
When: Tuesday, December 31st @ 5:30pm (EST)
Where: Dunkin Donuts Center in Providence, RI
Records/Rankings: Georgetown 10-3 (39 KenPom, 30 NET) Providence 7-6 (82 KenPom, 129 NET)
Streaming: Fox Sports Go
Conference play begins this week for the Big East and this is an interesting one. It’s a New Year’s Eve battle between Patrick Ewing’s resilient and resurgent Georgetown squad and Ed Cooley’s Providence team that may finally be showing some signs of life.
Here’s What’s Been Going On
The Friars have mostly struggled through the non-conference portion of the schedule. However, Providence is coming off its best performance of the year after throttling a 9-1 Texas team from start to finish. Perhaps a good win will finally awaken this talented group that has been sleepwalking through the season. The team has clearly underperformed so far but given the talent on the roster and Ed Cooley’s history of getting previous Friar teams to rally, don’t pencil them in for a lopsided losing record just yet. Cooley has earned a little more rope than that…but just a little. They’re dead last in the Big East in FG% and 2nd to last in both FT & 3pt%. They need shooting. The answer may be on the bench in a slumping AJ Reeves. One of the most promising freshmen in the conference a year ago, Reeves has been a shell of himself since coming back from a foot injury last season. If he can regain his confidence perhaps a rejuvenated Reeves can be a spark plug for this team in league play.
As for Georgetown, after the messiness of having 4 players transfer in-season (including reigning Big East freshman of the year James Akinjo) the Hoyas play has improved significantly. The Hoyas are beginning to look like the team many expected to see out of the gate. Omar Yurtseven is performing at an All Big East level (18.2 ppg & 10.2 rpg) and while Mac McClung is still somewhat streaky he’s been mostly good and often very good for Patrick Ewing’s team. When McClung is hot, he looks like an all-conference caliber player to me. The true change has come at the PG spot however where Terrell Allen has stepped in and more than made up for what was lost when Akinjo split. He’s averaging 9.5 points and 6.8 assists in the 6 games since taking over…all wins. While Allen is nowhere near the natural scorer Akinjo was, it’s obvious to even casual fans that the ball is now moving and the offense has come to life as a result.
McClung left Georgetown’s last game with an eye injury. Although the assumption is a poke or abrasion that would have him back for the Providence game, there’s been no official word from the school yet. If it’s something more significant and McClung has to miss time that could be a problem for the depth-deprived Hoyas. They can’t afford to lose anyone else, let alone one of their most potent offensive weapons.
Assuming McClung is able to go, I’ll say 80-66 with the Hoyas picking up a win on the road.