Pregame Shootaround: Xavier at Georgetown

Jim O'Connor-US PRESSWIRE

After a disheartening loss at the hands of Seton Hall on Thursday, Georgetown (15-10; 6-7) faces a quick turnaround in a home matchup against Xavier (18-8; 8-5) this Saturday at 11:30 am. The teams met earlier this season in January, with Xavier coming out on top 80-67.

Get to Know Xavier.

The Big Picture.

After a three game losing streak, Xavier has rebounded nicely in winning three of its last four games. Currently sitting at 8-5 in the conference and 18-8 on the season, this game against Georgetown is a very important in terms of keeping postseason hopes alive.

Roster rundown. The Musketeers have a very balanced team offensively, particularly in the frontcourt, and feature one of the conference's best players in Semaj Christon.

Backcourt.

The Musketeer backcourt is led by sophomore standout Semaj Christon (16.5 ppg, 2.9 rpg, 4.1 apg), who has scored in double digits in each of the Musketeers' past 14 games. Christon is shooting a blistering 48.4% from 3-point land this season. Junior point guard Dee Davis (7.8 ppg, 1.9 rpg, 5.0 rpg, 1.1) will handle point-guard duties for Xavier. Davis is coming off an impressive 17 point-7 assist-2 steal performance against DePaul two nights ago. Myles Davis (6.7 ppg, 1.7 rpg, 1.0 apg) and Brandon Randolph (3.3 ppg, 1.7 apg, 1.7 rpg) are the Xavier's top guards off the bench.

Frontcourt.

Xavier's frontcourt is deep and fairly talented. Center Matt Stainbrook (11.0 ppg, 8.5 rpg, 2.4 apg, 1.1 bpg) anchors the unit while forward Justin Martin (11.4 ppg, 4.9 rpg, 1.0 apg) has been an offensive spark for the Musketeers of late. Martin is shooting .676 from the field over his last three games, and by all means he's someone who should have a field day in tomorrow's matchup. 6'8, 230 pound Isaiah Philmore (8.6 ppg, 5.0 rpg) was the preferred starter in the frontcourt earlier in the season, but has recently been relegated to the bench in favor of Erik Stenger (1.8 ppg, 1.6 rpg). James Farr (7.6 ppg, 5.5 rpg) and Jalen Reynolds (3.0 ppg, 3.0 rpg) will be the main subs off the bench.

Xavier on twitter. Seriously, wow.

What to watch when the Musketeers have the ball.

  • Musketeer: Justin Martin. Martin is averaging 21 points, 7 rebounds and 1.5 assists over Xavier's last two games. His ability to step out and shoot 3's from the forward position is something that is likely to give Georgetown's defense fits all game.
  • Hoya: Jabril Trawick. Jabril has been our energy guy this season and has the defensive prowess to single-handedly muck up opposing offensive schemes. However, he has fouled out of the Hoyas' last two games, and if Georgetown is to have any chance of winning against Xavier they will need him to be in the game.
  • Number. Assists. Xavier is 27th in the nation in assists, handing out a healthy 15.7 per contest. Considering Georgetown has given up 17 and 20 over its last two (while dishing out 11 and 10, respectively), Xavier is a good bet to easily surpass its season average in tomorrow's matchup.
  • Feeling delusional because... With the toughest slate of games just ahead, the Hoyas may feel an extra bit of urgency to secure one last win for the seniors. Xavier is good, but certainly beatable.
  • Feeling cynical because... Georgetown's defense has surrendered 82 points to opposing offenses in each of the last two games... those offenses belonged to St. Johns and Seton Hall... and they both shot over 55 percent from the field. Teams are feasting on our defense, and there's no reason to expect Xavier to buck that trend.

What to watch when the Hoyas have the ball.

  • Hoya: D'Vauntes Smith-Rivera. DSR is averaging 18.4 ppg over Georgetown's last five games despite facing an increasing amount of attention from opposing defenses. That being said, he has only attempted four free throws total over the past two games, so look to see if he is able to improve upon that number in tomorrow's matchup.
  • Musketeer: Semaj Christon. Christon is such an impactful player on both sides of the ball. He has two or more steals in three of the Musketeers' last four games and had three takeaways in Xavier's game against Georgetown earlier in the season. He'll play tight, aggressive defense on Starks/DSR, knowing that whoever is guarding Lubick or Moses will shift over and provide help defense if he gets beat.
  • Number. Points. Georgetown has surpassed 72 points just once over the last thirteen games. If the defense is going to continue giving up big numbers to opposing teams then the offense is going to need to do better than that, plain and simple.
  • Feeling delusional because... I don't even know anymore.
  • Feeling cynical because... The Hoyas got beat down by Seton Hall in an 82-67 defeat that saw them shoot the ball 60 times to Seton Hall's 49. The game before that they shot the same number of attempts as St. Johns, but were handled by 22 points. Their offense is being forced to either put up extremely high percentages, which wont happen, or lose.

Conclusion. Kenpom has us winning 71-69 in what the site predicts will be our last victory of the season, but I'm not really feelin' it. The Hoyas looks like they've already given up. L.J. Peak highlights ease the pain a little.

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