For the first time all season, the Georgetown Hoyas and DePaul Blue Demons are set to square off on the hardwood. It might be hard to believe because it’s late February, but the Hoyas and Blue Demons are set to meet twice in the next seven days as the 2018-19 season winds down.
Both teams enter this contest with sub-.500 Big East records. Georgetown is 6-8 in Big East play, while DePaul sits last in the conference with a mark of 5-9. It’s not unusual territory for DePaul to be in this spot of course. They’ve finished last in each of the last two seasons and three times since the 2013-14 season. Georgetown, meanwhile, is hoping to break through and avoid playing on Wednesday in the upcoming Big East Tournament for the first time since the 2014-15 season.
Georgetown’s shown some promise under second-year head coach Patrick Ewing but they’ve still had their fair share of hiccups. Getting swept by the Creighton Bluejays is among them, as they took an 82-69 loss to the Bluejays over the weekend in Omaha. The loss set them back after a monumental blowout win over the Villanova Wildcats back on Wednesday, which certainly got hopes and promise up big time. But they do return home now for this meeting with DePaul, which can certainly aid them and their desire to avoid playing on the first day of the BET.
For the Blue Demons, meanwhile, they’re mired in another losing streak. Three games to be precise, and it’s the third time this season that they’ve had a losing streak of three games. They’re hoping to avert more trouble and record their longest losing streak of the year, but it certainly will not be easy. But to be fair, DePaul has won in DC in each of the last two seasons. They could make it three if they’re lucky enough.
DePaul will have to find a way to slow the game down if they want to win. The Hoyas rank as the fastest team in the Big East, with and AdjTempo of 72.5. That ranks 20th in the nation, compared to DePaul’s mark of 69.4, ranking 93rd. That’s not super slow obviously, and the Blue Demons can get out in run. But a difference of three possessions is quite the margin. The Hoyas also have a pretty solid offense, ranking 51st in the nation in AdjOE with a mark of 110.3. DePaul sits 79th at 108.7, so the two teams are relatively close to each other. Neither team has a particularly strong defense, but the Hoyas’ unit ranks better than the Blue Demons’ in most of the important areas.
Thus, DePaul will likely have to have an offensive outburst if they want to win. The problem is that lately they have not shown that ability. In their last five games they’ve scored over 75 points just once, 78 in a loss to the Butler Bulldogs. Other than that, they’ve put up 67, 74, 73 and 67. So that is why they will certainly have an uphill battle in this one. They’re going to have to hope that Femi Olujboi, Paul Reed and Max Strus, among others, will show out in this game. Otherwise, they could be staring at another defeat.
The Hoyas, though, will just have to hope for better success this time out. In their last game, none of their starters eclipsed 10 points. They got double figures from Greg Malinowski and Jahvon Blair. But, James Akinjo, Jessie Govan and Mac McClung, their three most productive players all season, did not hit their ability levels. That will certainly have to change up if they want to pick up this victory against DePaul. Given that the Blue Demons have one of the worst 3-point defenses in the Big East, look for the Hoyas to try and attack the perimeter.
HOW TO WATCH
Time: 7 p.m. ET
TV: CBS Sports Network
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