Following a humbling beat down at the hands of Marquette to split a Midwest road trip, No. 13 Seton Hall returns home to take on Georgetown.
Despite cutting a 13-point first half deficit to just one point early in the second, a senior-laden Seton Hall (14-3, 3-1) never truly looked up for it on Tuesday night, leaving Kevin Willard to say “We just didn’t have enough in the tank.”
With Willard set on giving his guys a day off after returning east, the Hall should be well-rested and refocused on a Georgetown (12-4, 2-3) team that is getting to know I-95 well after a road win at the Garden earlier this week.
The Pirates are aiming to take down the Hoyas for a remarkable fifth straight time for the first time ever; Georgetown has accomplish such a feat twice, having sustained winning streaks of nine games (90s) and 17 games (late 70s, 80s) against Seton Hall.
Speaking of history, there are many parallels between this Seton Hall team and the upperclassman-inspired 1992-93 Big East Championship team that will be honored on Saturday as part of a soldout P.J. Carlesimo bobblehead day.
Operating under first year coach Patrick Ewing (you may have heard of him), Georgetown played one of the weakest non-conference schedules in the nation, explaining why their only KenPom top-100 win is at St. John’s.
Albeit against the conference’s basement, the Hoyas have managed to win a pair of road games in league play while losing to Butler in 2OT and getting blown out by Creighton on the road, so they are a far from a pushover despite the rebuilding vibe.
To the surprise of no one, this Georgetown team fits the historical narrative: they’re one of the tallest groups, rely on their forwards, and will draw a lot of fouls via physical play; the Hoyas are fourth nationally in percentage of points from free throws.
Unlike the Marquette game, Seton Hall should be keen on crowding the interior to make a forward-heavy team with two journeyman point guards beat you via the outside shot, something they don’t fancy.
Starting forwards Marcus Derrickson (14.7 ppg, 7.3 rpg) and Jessie Govan (18.1 ppg, 11.8 rpg) account for 41-percent of team scoring and 47-percent of team rebounding, presenting a mouth-watering matchup with Angel Delgado (14.4 ppg, 11.6 rpg).
KenPom says: No. 32 Seton Hall 83, No. 95 Georgetown 71
Q&A with Roey Hadar of SB Nation’s CasualHoya.com
Q: It was easy to gauge the discontent from the Georgetown fan base late in the JT3 reign. How has the general mood changed and what is the outlook like for Patrick Ewing?
A: The mood is far more optimistic now among Georgetown fans about Patrick Ewing. Fans have been willing to be patient this year and see things like the really weak schedule Georgetown constructed as part of a rebuilding process. I imagine most fans will give Ewing at least 3 years to build before they get impatient.
Q: What is this particular team all about? Going into the season, it seemed like the Hoyas were forward-heavy and projected to struggle at guard. Statistically they are scoring large volumes at the free throw line, have a nice assist:FGM ratio, but also turn it over a lot — how would you explain that combination?
A: This team pushes the tempo a lot, but doesn’t have a natural point guard. A lot of the turnovers have come from off-ball guards and forwards, often Jagan Mosely or Jamorko Pickett, trying to do too much with the ball. The Hoyas tend to be bigger than their opponents, a fact that works in their favor in terms of drawing free throws. Guys like Jessie Govan and Marcus Derrickson can draw fouls and finish well on the inside—probably explaining the high assist:FGM ratio.
Q: What is Georgetown’s major strength, major weakness, and who would you draw up a play for as the game clock is winding down?
A: Georgetown’s biggest strength is its ability to score inside. Its biggest weakness is probably that it will sometimes try to play too fast and turn the ball over. If the clock’s winding down, expect the ball to go to Jessie Govan (and watch out, he’s a big man but he can shoot three-pointers too!)
Stat(s) to watch: Georgetown likes to play fast and assist on 66-percent of made field goals, but they also turn it over on 22-percent of possessions
Series history (since 1950): 41-56 SH
Projected Georgetown starters
G – Jonathan Mulmore
G – Kaleb Johnson
F – Jamorko Pickett
F – Marcus Derrickson
C – Jessie Govan
Projected Seton Hall starters
PG – Khadeen Carrington
G – Myles Powell
F – Desi Rodriguez
F – Mike Nzei
F – Angel Delgado
TV: Noon, FS1
Radio: WMCA 570 AM / SIRIUS 119 / XM 201
Opening line: Seton Hall -12