Tonight's game against Pittsburgh is a big deal in many ways. First, the Hoyas have yet to win a game on the road in a truly hostile environment. (The wins against Butler and Washington were both at neutral sites.) In the Big East, we are 1-2 on the road, losing to Marquette and Villanova. These two games were hard fought battles where the Hoyas were given opportunities to get the W. They just didn't capitalize. To be an above average team, we need a few quality wins on the road. It starts with Pittsburgh tonight.
Secondly, Pittsburgh has whooped on Georgetown the past two seasons. In 2008, Georgetown won the Big East regular season title and placed 2nd in the conference tournament. However, in both regular season play and the tournament championship, the Hoyas were smacked around by Pitt. That year, it was clear that Pittsburgh was the better team despite their conference record against other opponents. And last year, we all know what happened when Levance Fields and Dejuan Blair strolled into Verizon. We simply can't go three years in a row losing to these guys. Not to mention, a win against Pitt on the road would make a big statement.
Thirdly, this is the start of a 6 game stretch that might define the rest of the season. Beating Pitt tonight and Rutgers at home on Saturday is crucial. Afterward, the Hoyas travel up to the Carrier Dome to face a very, very good Syracuse team. Obviously, I want to stay optimistic here, but winning at Syracuse is a stretch for now. Don't get me wrong, the Hoyas can do it, but it will be extremely difficult in a hostile environment. I cannot remember the last time they won up there either. Following that Monday night game, the Hoyas play their most important non-conference game against Duke, I have no doubt in my mind they can beat this ACC foe. The Hoyas are more athletic and if they shut down Singler and Scheyer, the game is theirs for the taking, They should not need any extra motivation against this team, especially with last year's 2nd half collapse at Cameron Indoor.
Next, Georgetown plays South Florida and Villanova at home. South Florida SHOULD be an assumed win, but as we know, one cannot assume anything in the Big East. Villanova is a great team this year and one of the more talented they've put on the court in awhile. The game will be a homecoming of sorts for Scottie Reynolds (Herndon, VA native). With that said, the Hoyas must truly shine against Nova at home. We cannot lost both games to them this year.
So lets make it happen tonight! Go Hoyas.