Series: Musketeers lead 3-5
Where/When: Cintas Center, 10 PM
TV: Fox Sports 1
So what do we know about the Musketeers?
Well we found out last year that it's really hard to win in Cincinnati's Cintas Center, even if you find yourself with a double-digit lead after halftime. Of course Georgetown wasn't the only team to struggle at Xavier as the Musketeers went 14-2 at home last season, including 7-2 in BIG EAST play as only Seton Hall and Villanova came away victorious.
We also know that they ruined a likely Final Four run for the 1990 Hoyas in the HoosierDome that featured the Twin Towers. For that alone we must never show mercy.
Muskteeters lowdown: Xavier likes to move it, move. While most of their numbers will probably come down, Coach Chris Mack's squad is first in the BIG EAST in scoring (81.8 ppg), field goal percentage (50.9), assists (18.2), and rebounding margin (6.5).
Oh and in case you were wondering, Xavier also leads the league in 3-point field goal percentage (39.1). That's probably the scariest stat of them all for the Hoyas.
Xavier has pretty balanced scoring with four starters averaging between 9 and 13 points per game in Dee Davis, Remy Abell, Trevon Bluett, and Matt Stainbrook.
At 6-foot-10, Stainbrook can pick apart other teams with his passing from the high post. However like most BIG EAST big men last season, he had the good fortune of missing out on trying to guard Joshua Smith.
Former Georgetown recruit Myles Davis is a 3-pt sharpshooter off the bench. The sophomore makes nearly 50 percent of his shots from deep, averaging two makes per game from that distance.
Last time out: Xavier used a strong first half in defeating our old friend Brett Comer and the rest of the Florida Gulf Coast Eagles 71-57 last Sunday. They also did a good job of holding onto the ball in turning it over only seven times after averaging 17 in their three previous games.
RPI: Right now Xavier's RPI is in the 50s after only playing one Top 50 school in the non-conference portion of the schedule.
Now on to your Georgetown Hoyas.
DSR: D'vauntes Smith-Rivera played like the BIG EAST Player of the Year in that win over Indiana. He did it all with a storyline as he was facing many players he knew from his hometown state, including a one-on-one duel with Yogi Ferrell. So if storylines are going to get his season going, we have another one against Xavier as DSR was a former Musketeer commit before ultimately signing with the Hoyas
Home Sick: This will be the Hoyas first true road game this season. Last season Georgetown was just 2-9 on the road, including a 2-7 mark in BIG EAST road games. The Hoyas have lost five straight road games with their last win coming at DePaul on Feb. 3. So yeah, it's been awhile
Styles of Play: Some of the offensive numbers Xavier can boast are a bit scary at first until you remember that Georgetown is much better served in a wide open game than a half court rock fight against a team like Butler. As currently constructed, your Hoyas are better on the run.
Adjustments: Last time out against a team that also likes to push the pace in Indiana, JT3 made some key second half adjustments. The biggest one was basically subbing Mikeal Hopkins and Joshua Smith in for each other rather than playing them together.
When JT3 goes smaller with either Paul White or Aaron Bowen basically at the four, it's important that they shoot open 3's, especially Bowen. This spreads the court and provides more space for the opposite side cutter. Both Smith and Hopkins had success finding that back cutter last time out. Georgetown always seems more Princeton like in an open game. That's a compliment.
Nationally Ranked Powerhouse: For the first time since the 2013 NCAA Tournament, your Georgetown Hoyas have cracked the AP Top 25.
Reason to be cynical: The opening line of Xavier (-5) scared you into thinking the Hoyas were doomed once again on the road.
Reason to be delusional: It's New Year's Rockin Eve and Georgetown has won their last five games on this date, including four under JT3 - Hartford, St. John's, Providence, and DePaul. T
Final thoughts: JT3 is 7-3 in BIG EAST openers and I don't see them losing this game on my Birthday. Nope, that's not how this night is going to go. The x-factor tonight is foul trouble as it's the first road game of the season and all. Still, I like the Hoyas to steal one on the road.