Game 6: Georgetown Hoyas (2-3) vs Maryland Eastern Shore Hawks (1-4)
Series: Hoyas lead 6-0, last meeting in the 2000-01 season
Where/When: Verizon Center, Tuesday 7 PM
Yes, believe it or not, Georgetown actually plays a game before arch nemesis Syracuse rolls into town on Saturday from southern Canada. The Hoyas will entertain a visit from an old friend from the MEAC in the form of the Hawks of Maryland Eastern Shore.
While the Hoyas and Hawks squared off five times in a span of ten years from 1991 to 2000, none of the games were particularly competitive.
If you're looking for a good omen, the last time these two schools met was during a 16-0 start by Craig Esherick and Co. that ended in the Sweet 16. Feels like just yesterday really. Did I mention that I miss Lee Scruggs?
Moving right along to the present this would be a great opportunity for Georgetown to get one game under its belt as a full unit before facing the zone of the Orange.
This will be the first time this season (six games) where JT3 has all of his players available. We saw him ease Paul White back into action over the weekend so it will be interesting to see what he does with Tre Campbell who seemed to suffer from an illness rather than an injury.
Here's some basic info on UMES:
DYK: While the men's basketball team has never made the NCAA Tournament - they did qualify for the 1974 NIT when that was a far more impressive thing to do - its women's bowling team finished as the national runner up to Vanderbilt, falling in a series 4-3 in 2007. Also, Art Shell is an alum.
Last time out: After dropping their first four games of the season the Hawks picked up their first victory of the season, 70-57 over St. Francis (PA). Earlier in the season UMES fell to Kansas State, Missouri, Wofford, and Fairfield in what has proven to be a challenging schedule.
RPI: This was an area of major improvement last year as UMES went from 347 to 191. That's a huge difference and it's the kind of thing that happens when you go from 5 to 18 wins. It would be pretty damn casual if they could maintain this level throughout this season as well. We'll all be rooting for Bobby Collins for the rest of the season after Tuesday night. Collins was actually an assistant for Hampton when Georgetown defeated the Pirates to advance to the 2001 Sweet 16.
Who to watch for: UMES has three players averaging in double figures led by Devin Martin's 14.4 per game. Martin takes just over half of his shots from deep, connecting on 41 percent from 3-point range.
Joining Martin in the double figures club are a pair of forwards in Dominique Elliot (11.6 ppg) and Bakari Copeland (11.2 ppg). Copeland also leads the team in rebounding (6.4) and assists (2.2).
Ok let's talk about the Hoyas.
Back on Track: D'Vauntes Smith-Rivera had one of his poorer games as a Hoyas over the weekend. Not only did DSR struggle from the field but he also was unusually poor in other areas of the game - rebounding and setting up teammates. It will be important for the senior leader to get back in his normal groove before Saturday's clash with evil.
Full Strength: As mentioned above, this will be the first time this season that JT3 will have all of his players available. It's a good problem to have but how will the minutes be distributed. On first glance it seems as though the most likely candidates to see their minutes diminished would be Kaleb Johnson and Tre Mourning. Right now it seems hard to take away too many minutes from Reggie Cameron given what the junior has provided on both ends of the court.
In the Zone: We can only hope that UMES plays some sort of zone to get the Hoyas ready. It's likely that Bryant is better than the UMES but their zone gave the Hoyas problems for a while last weekend. I'd like to see Isaac Copeland flashing at the free throw line against the zone. We saw Cameron there a lot against Bryant but he doesn't look for that midrange shot all that much. Derrickson also seems like a nice idea in that spot but so far the passing from the freshman hasn't been the greatest but he can shoot from anywhere. Oh, and since White is back, he's a natural for that spot.
Reason to be delusional: This is Syracuse week. This will be a 40 minute dress rehearsal for the Hoyas before open up a can on Saturday.
Reason to be cynical: You haven't gotten over the Radford game and you won't believe that they Hoyas can win back-to-back games until you see it. Also, Radford lost to JMU last night.
Final Thoughts: This will be the second straight win in what will undoubtedly be an incredible seven game home stand that we will remember for years to come.