Game 9: Georgetown Hoyas (5-3) vs UNC Wilmington (5-0)
Series: First meeting
Where/When: Verizon Center, Saturday 230 PM
TV: CBS Sports Network
Line: Hoyas -12
No I haven't seen them yet but I hope to see them, I heard they are pretty good- Bradley Hayes on the tap dancing talents of freshmen Kaleb Johnson and Jessie Govan who both showed their stuff during a flash mob final this week
I'm not exactly certain but I don't think this is what most people were expecting out of a season in which the Hoyas would face Maryland locally as well as participate in the 21st edition of the BB&T Classic.
We somehow got to the point where in 2015 Georgetown hosts a random CAA school in the middle of the day in what used to be a decent two day event that incidentally often saw GW beat the Terps on an NFL Sunday.
Georgetown comes into this matchup riding a four game winning streak and, believe it or not, gets a great opportunity to pick up a quality win, for now, against a UNC Wilmington team that is curiously undefeated with just three Division 1 wins to date.
As always, Bradley Hayes, DSR, and Isaac Copeland continue to lead the deepest Hoyas team in quite some time.
Here's some basic info on UNC Wilmington:
Last time out: Wilmington picked up a 93-73 over something called Coker ten days ago. The last time the Seahawks played a Division 1 team was back on Nov 28 when they picked up a 94-73 victory at East Tennessee State.
They Said It: "We play two teams in our conference that run a modified version of what Georgetown runs in the Princeton offense when you talk about William & Mary and Northeastern," said second year coach and former Louisville assistant Kevin Keatts on why he wanted to play the Hoyas.
RPI: Keatts managed to get the Seahawks into the CIT last year with an RPI of 152. That's not bad and it would be great if it could get closer to 100, just not at the expense of the Hoyas obviously.
Who to watch for: Senior guard Craig Ponder leads the team in scoring but he's been a bit hit or miss. Ponder scored a total of 50 points in his first two outings and he had nine steals in his last game.
Keatts has two more guards that average double figures and at least two steals per game in Chris Flemmings and Denzel Ingram.
As you can probably guess, this team likes to press and play up-tempo. Since they've only played three Division 1 teams it's kinda hard to figure out just how good they are to date.
Ok let's talk about the Hoyas.
Protecting the Ball: With UNC Wilmington playing a Louisville style diamond press it will be important for the Hoyas to keep turnovers at a minimum. After eight games the assist to turnover ratio is virtually 1 to 1.
So what have they done since we last saw them against Brown. Said JT3: "We've watched a lot of film just to show them our spacing and why we are getting ourselves in trouble and we've gone against pressure, live, quite a bit the past couple days."
"We've not been good," JT3 bluntly said about how the Hoyas have been against the press.
Not Just a Shooter: One of the more pleasant surprises this side of Bradley Hayes has been the consistent play that junior Reggie Cameron has provided in the early going. Cameron went from starting 12 games as a frosh to scoring just 27 points as a sophomore. Perhaps this was by design or perhaps Cameron took advantage of an opportunity with an injury to Paul White but either way Cameron has found a niche on this squad and it doesn't solely revolve around his 3-point shot. Yes, Cameron is shooting a career high 44 percent from deep he's also taking charges and crashing the board. He set a career high on the glass with five against Brown.
JT3, who doesn't throw around compliments just for the fun of it, was very complimentary of the Hudson Catholic product.
Said JT3: "I think he's been very important. Reg is finding his groove and the thing I've been most pleased with with Reggie is his defense. Right now his defense has been pretty good. He's a shooter who's making shots now. Last year he was almost like a freshman thinking too much worrying too much. When he releases it I think it's going in and for the most part it has. Having him getting back to being himself has been a big plus."
Quotables: He's not 100 percent. It's a slow process. - JT3 on Paul White's current status
I don't know if I'd do it again particularly having to rely on so many freshman and sophomores but that being said it may be what's best for this team. Losing is hard. - JT3 on the opening schedule
I need to maybe go back to my inner John Thompson - JT3 joking on how he might schedule like his dad going forward **cough, St. Leo, cough**....(side note, this was definitely a joke so don't freak out)
Reason to be delusional: Spots are going fast on the delusion train so you better get on before this home stand is over.
Reason to be cynical: On a team with so few guards, 40 minutes of Seahawks pressure will be too much.
Final Thoughts: Let's all enjoy the BB&T Classic because it might never come back. Also, this will be the first win in what will be a serious of wins against teams from North Carolina. I imagine the Hoyas will get to even the score with Duke and then defeat UNC Chapel Hill in the Big Dance.