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Game Preview: Georgetown Hoyas at DePaul Blue Demons

Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

Game 16:  Georgetown Hoyas (10-5, 2-2) vs DePaul Blue Demons (9-8, 3-1)

Series:  Hoyas lead 23-7

Where/When:  Allstate Arena, Tuesday at 9pm

TV:  Fox Sports 1

We are four games into the BIG EAST schedule and Georgetown is one of seven teams at either 3-1 or 2-2.  That's not surprising.  Tonight's opponent, DePaul, is also in that mix.  Now that's noteworthy.

Well we've made it to Jan 13 and at this point the Hoyas have no bad losses but they also don't have any quality wins.  That's what happens when you are 0-5 against the RPI Top 50 and 10-0 against everybody else.  Or maybe it isn't that weird.  Much like the Princeton based offense, the Hoyas are simply taking what the college basketball world gives them right now.

While DePaul is off to a better start than expected in the conference, tonight is less about picking up a quality win - since DePaul doesn't fit the criteria - and more about winning on the road for the first time this season.

So what do we know about the Blue Demons?

Oliver Purnell is still the coach and they are still not so great.  They also wear red sometimes which is really weird since they are, you know, the Blue Demons.

Blue Demons lowdown:

The best Purnell has done at DePaul within the BIG EAST is go 3-15 and he's ‘accomplished' that twice.  With just one more win he'll pass that total and have DePaul challenging for their best season since 2007-08 when they went 6-12 somehow.

Billy Garrett, Jr, last year's BIG EAST Rookie of the Year, is back and he's having another fine season with basically the same averages of 12.8 points per game and 3.8 assists per game.

Garrett isn't the only one averaging 12 points per game as the sophomore point guard is joined by both Myke Henry and Tommy Hamilton IV.

If you can't remember Henry from last season, it's probably because the former Illinois transfer had to sit the season out.  His production is way up from his time in the Big 10.

Last time out: After starting 3-0 in the BIG EAST, DePaul came crashing back down to earth in their last outing - a 81-64 loss at Villanova that wasn't nearly as close as the final scored would indicate.

RPI: DePaul once again has the worst RPI in the conference at 173.  That being said, they have managed to beat two teams in the Top 50 (Stanford and Xavier).

Now on to your Hoyas.

I can't believe I'm saying this but Georgetown will be looking to avoid a 2-game losing streak to DEPAUL tonight.  Last year's loss in the opening round of the BIG EAST Championships was probably the final nail in the coffin of team's NCAA Tournament chances.  The Hoyas had won 14 straight against the Blue Demons going back to the days of Tom Kleinschmidt.  That guy was the worst even though he was a scoring machine.

Frosh: Both Paul White - who is coming home against DePaul - and L.J. Peak are getting consistent playing time as first year players.  That's great but this team needs more Tre Campbell and Isaac Copeland on the floor.

Campbell - after playing 26 minutes against and being one of the heroes against Creighton - has played just 24 total minutes in the two games since.  Campbell has proven he can shoot and his presence should allow DSR to get better looks off the ball.  I'd give him so minutes from both Trawick and Peak.

Copeland - who looked decent in 10 first half minutes against Providence - didn't play a second after halftime for some reason.  Since I'm clearly in favor of Hopkins only subbing for Smith, I'd give Copeland some of Hopkins minutes when Smith is on the floor.

While neither Campbell nor Copeland are the best defenders right now but that's OK as this group needs to outscore people.  That sounds obvious but what I mean is that they are more likely to win in the 70's or 80's than in the 50's like Otto and the Miracles from a few seasons ago.

Speed it up: If you watched the Providence game last Saturday and listened to everything Tim Brando said, that's OK.  Just know that for the most part the opposite was true.  Despite him trying to hammer home the point that Georgetown is best suited for a slow, half court slugfest, he was completely wrong.  Against a zone defense, their offense struggles without a true point guard.  The ball movement and rotation is slow and they generally just pass it around the 3-point line until late in the shot clock.

Road struggles: Georgetown defeated DePaul last Feb. 3 by a 71-59 margin.  Since then the Hoyas have dropped seven straight - St. John's, Seton Hall, Marquette, Villanova, Florida State, Xavier, and now Providence.  Much like a struggling shooter benefits from getting to the FT line and seeing the ball go through the net, a win on the road at DePaul would hopefully provide the same spark.

Free Throws: This has been an issue all season and it was probably the biggest reason why the Hoyas couldn't close out last Saturday afternoon in Providence.  You can't go 11-for-20 as a team and you can't have a starting senior go 0-for-6 and expect to win a conference game on the road.  Smith has improved his form on the line since the start of the season so hopefully that means it's possible for Hopkins to do the same.

Reason to be cynical:  You aren't going to believe they win on the road until you see it.

Reason to be delusional: It's DePaul.   Just to make everybody feel good about themselves, Paul White is going to go off for a Georgetown freshman record 25 points tonight in front of his friends and family.

Final Thoughts: Hoyas win a close game tonight and everybody is in bed by midnight EST dreaming of ways Georgetown can win their next two home games against Butler and Villanova.