Game 7: Georgetown Hoyas (3-3) vs No. 14 Syracuse Orange (6-1)
Series: Orange lead 48-41
Where/When: Verizon Center, Saturday 1 PM
Line: Hoyas -5
"For me it's much bigger than just one game. I've had this game marked down since the summer." - D'vauntes Smith-Rivera on playing Syracuse
It's time to welcome our friends from southern Canada down to the Verizon Center for the first time since that 61-39 destruction two years ago. That game was less of a game and more of a 40 minute celebration of all things Georgetown. Yes, it was as incredible as it sounds. And, no, we'll never forget it.
Almost all of the players have changed since that last meeting but the coaches remain the same. Actually, not so fast. Seeing as how Syracuse does Syracuse type things, Jim Boeheim won't be joining us as one of the best rivalries in college sports gets back on track.
I wrote a lot of words about the renewal of this rivalry here. You can also read it in the gameday program. I'm sure there will be cool pictures involved.
The Orange only go seven deep but it's been working so far this season. The big reason is that they have been shooting the hell out of the ball, particularly down at the Battle 4 Atlantis where they took home the championship by defeating Charlotte, UConn, and Texas A&M.
This is the marquee home game of the season even if it comes on December 5th. Smith-Rivera got back on track last time out for the Hoyas and now it will be time for Isaac Copeland to show why he's one of the top sophomores in the country on a national stage.
Here's some basic info on Syracuse:
Last time out: Wisconsin ruined Georgetown's chance to knock off an undefeated ranked Orange by going into the Carrier Dome and coming away with a 66-58 overtime win in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge.
Wisconsin - a team Georgetown beat earlier this season at Madison Square Garden - dominated Syracuse on the glass, 51-25.
RPI: This game counts as a solid boost in the ratings. Thanks, you guys!
Who to watch for: It took JT3 less than thirty seconds into Thursday's media availability to mention both Michael Gbinije (19.6 ppg) and Trevor Cooney (14.9) by name. Both of those dudes shoot and make a lot of 3-poiners.
Newcomer Malachi Richardson (13 ppg) also, you guessed it, shoots and makes a lot of shots from deep.
Tyler Lydon is a lanky freshman forward that's provided a lot early on by averaging 10 points and eight rebounds while shooting 50 percent from deep.
Tyler Roberson leads the team by pulling down 8.4 rebounds per game while DaJuan Coleman starts, and that's about it.
Ok let's talk about the Hoyas.
Unlikely Friends: One of the more interesting, perhaps disturbing, things to come out of the pre game interviews was that DSR is friends with Cooney. Yes, that Cooney.
"Cooney is a good friend of mine," explained DSR on Thursday.
Turns out that they've known each other since middle school and have been playing against each other throughout their basketball lives including the AAU circuit and obviously now in college.
Asked how close they are at this moment, DSR showed a good sense of humor and judgement.
Said DSR, "I don't talk to him consistently....and him being at Syracuse makes it even worse. But he's cool man, he's a good player."
Zone Busters: For the first time in quite some times, JT3 can stack the court with five players that can shoot. I think the top candidates to try and get in to the foul line area on offense will be DSR and Isaac Copeland. We've seen Reggie Cameron get that spot in some of these earlier games but I'm not sure that's going to work out as he seems to be more of a long distance shooter. Another interesting aspect will be to see how the interior passing goes. So far both Jessie Govan and Marcus Derrickson have been prone to turnovers in the beginning of their careers. Both players will likely have to hit some corner shots against the Orange. That space is usually available at times.
Hoyas Win: There's nothing like hitting a milestone in a meaningful game and that's just what will happen when Hoyas play by play man Rich Chvotkin calls his 1,300th game on Saturday. What that gaudy number means is that Rich has been at nearly half of the games in program history.
"He's a great person and his loyalty to this program is unparalleled," JT3 said about his radio man.
"You're talking about someone that basically came in and convinced Pops to do it and went out and fond sponsors on his own to get the airtime to get the game on the radio."
Rich is a national treasure that Hoya fans have been lucky enough to listen to for 42 years. As it currently stands Rich is fifth among active radio broadcasters in the country.
Here's the list:
1) Since 1968-69 Ray Goss, Duquesne - 48 years
2) Since 1969-70 Bill Hillgrove, Pittsburgh - 47 years
3) Since 1973-74 Don Fischer, Indiana - 43 years
4) Since 1973-74 Dave McKinney, Wyoming - 43 years
5) Since 1974-75 Rich Chvotkin, Georgetown - 42 years
6) Since 1976-77 Bob Harris, Duke - 40 years
7) Since 1977-78 Dave Nitz, Louisiana Tech - 39 years
T8) Since 1978-79 Dave Hofferth, Lamar - 38 years
T8) Since 1978-79 Johnny Holliday, Maryland - 38 years
10) Since 1980-81, Jon Teicher, UTEP - 36 years
Alumni: Have you ever wondered how much the current players talk to the former ones? Well DSR said he hadn't heard from a lot of the players but he did recently hear from Darryl Owens and Jeff Green. Just in case you didn't have enough reasons to love two of the players instrumental in the resurrection of the program, you have another one.
Said DSR about what he's hearing from the alums: "Darrell Owens and Jeff, they talk quite a bit and they know the intensity of the game."
Reason to be delusional: They Hoyas have a team of zone busters just waiting to unleash their offense on the Orange. Could the 4-3 Hoyas be ranked next week? You bet your ass.
Reason to be cynical: You're worried that Mike Hopkins is a coaching genius and will thrive without Boeheim holding him down. Also, you worry about an Orange 3-pt Party.
Final Thoughts: Hoyas depth wears out the Boeheim-less Orange. It will be closer than the last game at Verizon with Georgetown coming out on top 68-61 thanks to a big game from Isaac Copeland.